Nursery Dog Steps In As Adorable Parent After Five Cheetah Cubs Oprhaned

An Australian shepherd has been cuddling with a litter of cheetah babies after their mother died weeks after giving birth through a rare C-section at the Cincinnati Zoo.

A dog is helping to care for a litter of baby orphaned cheetahs at an Ohio zoo and his first assignment was to let them crawl all over him.

A dog is helping to care for a litter of baby orphaned cheetahs at an Ohio zoo and his first assignment was to let them crawl all over him.

Cincinnati Zoo / Via Twitter: @CincinnatiZoo

The Australian shepherd named Blakely is supporting the cubs after their mother, Willow, died a few weeks ago following their birth through a rare C-section on March 8.

The Australian shepherd named Blakely is supporting the cubs after their mother, Willow, died a few weeks ago following their birth through a rare C-section on March 8.

Vets at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden said they hoped the five-year-old cheetah would recover from the birth, but she became lethargic and lost her appetite.

They added that « without the C-section, we likely would have lost both the mom and the cubs. » Cheetahs are endangered and there are about 12,000 in the world today.

Cincinnati Zoo / Via Twitter: @CincinnatiZoo

Zoo keepers said that as soon as the Blakely met the baby cheetahs he took on a parental role.

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« His first job is to let the cubs climb on him, which they did as soon as they were put together, » said Head Nursery Keeper Dawn Strasse. « They need the exercise to build muscle tone. »

As the cubs grow, their dog dad will serve as a guide and role model.

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The cubs are now gaining weight and getting stronger, the zoo said.

The cubs are now gaining weight and getting stronger, the zoo said.

Cincinnati Zoo / Via AP


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