Good friends Sahara and Alexa are ambassadors, part of programs to educate children and working farmers about endangered cats.
ODD COUPLE: Sahara the cheetah and Alexa the Anatolian Shepherd Dog met at birth, and they have formed a special bond over the years.
Cheetah Sahara and Anatolian Shepherd Dog Alexa grew up together at the Cincinnati Zoo and became close friends, proving that cats and dogs really can get along. The animals are part of the zoo’s Cat Ambassador Program, which works in conjunction with the Cheetah Conservation Fund to protect these threatened wild cats.
The programs tackle two sides of the issue: the cat ambassador program uses unconventional animal friendships like this one to teach children about the dangers faced by cheetahs in the wild. Cheetahs are the fastest land mammals on Earth, but they are endangered by encroachment on their habitat and poaching. Meanwhile, the conservation program educates farmers in Namibia and South Africa about how these special guard dogs can protect livestock from nearby cheetahs — without harming the cats. Traditionally, farmers have shot the wild cats to protect their animals.