Sahara the cheetah and Alexa the Anatolian Shepherd, ambassadors for the Cincinnati Zoo, were barely two months old when they met and over the years have formed a special bond.
They became close friends and excellent playmates, proving that cats and dogs really can get along.
Both around ten years old now, the pair were raised together as part of the zoo’s Cat Ambassador Program which works in conjunction with the Cheetah Conservation Fund to protect these threatened wild cats.
The cat ambassador program uses these unconventional animal friendships to teach children about the dangers faced by cheetahs in the wild. Whereas the conservation program educates farmers in Namibia and South Africa about how these guard dogs can protect their livestock from cheetahs — without harming the cats.
Sahara and Alexa have traveled to schools around the US to show their unusual friendship to amused school children.
Over the years, Alexa has helped to educate hundreds of thousands of school children and zoo visitors.
Alexa is retired from the ambassador life and has gone to live with a trainer who raised her. She plans to spend her retirement lounging on the sofa, playing in the yard and taking long naps.
Anatolian shepherds CJ and Pow Wow, will take over the Anatolian ambassador responsibilities. They have big paws to fill!
Tommy T. and Pow Wow, two other Cheetah and Shepherd ambassadors of the Cincinnati Zoo are seen here in the video below: