RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — An unlikely bond has formed between a lab mix puppy and a cheetah cub at the Metro Richmond Zoo.
When Kumbali the cheetah was 2-weeks-old, his caretakers realized he had lost weight over two consecutive checkups. In hopes of helping the cub gain weight, concerned staff pulled Kumbali from his mom so he could be bottle fed. The idea was to eventually reintroduce him to his family.
Unfortunately, zoo staff discovered that Kumbali’s mom, Khari, wasn’t producing enough milk for her three cubs. Only 2 of her 8 nipples were functioning. Caretakers decided to continue bottle-raising the baby to ensure his health and growth. However, little Kumbali was in need of a companion.
This is where Kago comes in.
Kago is a lab mix puppy that was adopted from a pet rescue organization when he was 10-weeks-old. After a quarantine period, Kago was introduced to his new companion. Now, their bond has become ‘brother-like.’ The two are inseparable.
Zoo visitors have flocked there to see Kumbali and Kago.
Tamera Wilkins Harris is thrilled saying, “Oh my gosh, it’s amazing! I just can’t believe we have an opportunity to have an animal like this in the Richmond region, that we have a chance to get up close and personal with. It’s awesome!”
You can see Kumbali and Kago at the Metro Richmond Zoo from noon to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday. On Fridays and Saturdays, they will can be seen from noon to 1 p.m. and again from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. They will be on exhibit in a temporary enclosure beside the kangaroos.