Say hello to the cutest unexpected BFFs: Kumbali and Kago.
Kago is Kumbali's emotional support dog. Apparently, cheetahs can get really anxious about socializing with other animals which can cause issues with repopulation. Kumbali was the runt of the litter and had to be hand fed to survive.
A statement on the Metro Richmond Zoo website reads:
"Kumbali was the runt of his litter and while his siblings continued to gain weight, he started losing weight. Concerned staff quickly discovered that his mother only had 2 of her 8 nipples functioning for 3 cubs. To ensure all of the cubs’ survival, we pulled Kumbali to hand raise him. We instantly fell in love with him, but Kumbali was in need of a companion."
Kago who was also born in May 2015 was rescued from a kill shelter in Alabama after being abandoned on the streets. Kumbali to Kago were just 2-months-old when they met and have been inseparable ever since.
Want to meet Kumbali and Kago?
They are on exhibit everyday. There is also a Cheetah Keeper Talk given by one of the zoo keepers at Kumbali and Kago's exhibit everyday at 11 am