Home LIFE The Story of Cheetah Cub Ruuxa & Puppy Pal Raina

The Story of Cheetah Cub Ruuxa & Puppy Pal Raina

This is a wonderful relationship between a cheetah and a dog named ,Raina. They meet when they both where young puppy and cub. This bond helped Ruxxa the cheetah recover from a surgery and is now a happy healthy 1 and 1/2 year old. I hope their bond continues, forever.

image credit: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Ruuxa means “spirit” in Somali, and the cheetah cub bearing that name lives up to his moniker, sparring and wrestling with the Rhodesian ridgeback who is for all practical purposes his sister.

image credit: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Raina – meaning “queen” or “guardian” – takes her responsibilities to her adopted brother seriously, as she guides and guards her unlikely, spotted companion.


Ruuxa and Raina are the latest among a line of ambassador cheetahs and companion dogs raised together at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park over 33 years. Introduced at just four weeks old, they were the youngest pair so far.

“With Ruuxa at such a young age, he seemed to take to Raina more as a sibling,” said Janet Rose-Hinostroza, an animal training supervisor at Safari Park.As a domestic dog, Raina is comfortable around people and hardwired for social attachment. So introducing her to her cheetah buddy was an easy sell.