Nursery Dog Nannies Orphaned Cheetah Cubs

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CINCINNATI — Five premature cheetah cubs have found an unlikely hero after losing their mother shortly after their birth at the Cincinnati Zoo.

A dog named Blakely stepped in after Willow, a five-year-old cheetah, passed away from no appetite and lethargy following her C-section, according to WCPO.

The cubs, three male and two female, have been bottle fed but had no companionship until Blakely joined them. A male Australian Shepherd, Blakely lets the cubs climb on him, getting some exercise, socializing, and building muscle tone — and the cubs are doing well.

This isn’t Blakely’s first assignment at the zoo; in addition to these and other cheetahs, Blakely has been a companion dog for animals including a takin, a bat-eared fox, a warthog, and an ocelot.

Blakely’s lastest adopted litter will stay in the zoo’s nursery for 8-12 weeks; zoo visitors can see them visit them in the nursery.