Best friends! Meet the cheetah and dog pairing at Turtle Back Zoo
A cheetah and a yellow Labrador retriever who live at the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange have been the best of friends since they were babies.
"They were paired together at a few weeks old, so [Bowie, the dog] could help Nandi [the cheetah] adjust through life and build her resiliency," said zoo director Jilian Fazio.
Animal keepers feed Nandi a carnivore's diet and basic dog food for Bowie. But they have very different personalities.
"Nandi is very affectionate, loves licking ears and the face oftentimes," said animal keeper Emily Rothamel, of Piscataway.
"Bowie, we like to call him our big goober. He will do anything for food," says animal keeper Bri Schroeder, of Hawthorne.
Fazio says as long as the 4-year-olds continue to enjoy each other's company, the pair can grow old together.