Zookeeper Shannon Smith gets a lick from Shiley, a three-and-a-half-year-old male cheetah, during a animal ambassador walk through at Safari Park in Escondido, California in the US.
The tightly wound, timid, flight-minded, anti-social creatures donít breed easily and are in danger of going extinct in the wild and in captivity. Some zoos are introducing companion dogs to serve as playmates and to provide the cats with an example. Cheetahs seem to take easily to companion dogs and look to the dogs for play and example. See story on page 7.