A seemingly unlikely, but adorable bond of friendship has formed between a cheetah cub and a puppy at the Metro Richmond Zoo in Virginia.


Source: YouTube

Kumbali the cheetah, and Kago the lab mix puppy are the best of buds, and have a background story that would fit right on a Disney writer's storyboard. The two are inseparable and it's actually their individual qualities as a cheetah and dog that helped build their friendship, which was a necessity since they had nowhere else to go! For health reasons, Kumbali needed to be separated from his family, but also needed social support from a friend, and that came in the form of Kago, who was donated to the zoo as a cheetah-buddy. The video below tells their touching story and cute antics together, but we'll give you a round-up with some pictures courtesy of the Metro Richmond Zoo.

Kumbali had a problem. He wasn't putting on enough weight two weeks after being born. It turned out his mother couldn't supply enough milk for the litter.

So the good people at Metro Richmond Zoo decided to nurse him to good health by bottle-feeding him, and then reintroducing him to the family.


Source: YouTube

And he got better!

But it was too soon for Kumbali to go back, and he needed a friend. "Male cheetahs are social animals. In the wild, they form coalitions with other males–usually their brothers. Kumbali was in need of a companion- and not of the human sorts," MRZ stated.

That's where Kago came in! "The Art of Paws rescued him from a high kill shelter in Alabama. He was brought to Virginia, where we ultimately found him through a cooperating rescue organization, AWOL MUTTS."

Don't worry about foul play, because "they create a bond that becomes almost inseparable, sibling-like. They provide companionship for each other. The dog has a calming influence because the cheetah will take behavioral cues from the dog– learning not to fear his surroundings, but instead embracing them with confidence. The cheetah will not hurt or kill his friend."

The two started off a bit uneasy...


Source: YouTube

...but now they partners in crime, and "Kumbali can jump, run, lick, and play with his pal Kago."


Source: YouTube


Source: YouTube

So where do they go from here? According to the zoo there are a few options. Kumbali may be reintroduced to his family when older. Kago may live with the Zoo Keeper's family with his own dog, or perhaps go on to serve as a companion for other cheetah cubs in need.

But for now? The two of them will keep on helping each other out, frolicking and snuggling to that they can "continue to nurture and strengthen their bond." The best of luck to them, and we hope they can keep on bro-ing out in the cutest way possible!

By - grape Japan editorial staff.