Who can forget Kasi, Busch Gardens’ Cheetah Cub born January 17th 2011, and his playpal Mtani, the Labrador Retriever puppy? For readers who’ve never met the dynamic duo, Kasi was paired with Mtani in order to help him get accustomed to socializing with other animals. “Male cheetahs are social and often live together in coalitions,” explained animal curator Tim Smith. “This social bond will be a very similar relationship, and they will be together for life.”
Monday, April 16 marked the one-year anniversary of the first time park guests got to see an 8-week-old male cheetah cub and a 16-week-old female yellow Labrador puppy start to strike up a friendship that the park’s animal experts expect to last a lifetime. Now, a year later, they live together full time at the park’s Cheetah Run habitat and even travel together to schools, events and television studios, helping the park’s education team teach the public about the plight of cheetahs in the wild and the importance of Busch Gardens’ conservation efforts.