When her mother found eight babies too much to handle, a cheetah named Adaeze was cut off — both from her mother’s milk and from being able to bond with her siblings.
Adaeze and two of her male siblings had to be nursed by the staff at the LEO Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich, Conn. Between the hand feeding and having a brother to bond with, the two young males thrived.
But Adaeze remained something of a social outcast.
Then, about seven weeks after her birth, she met Odie, an overweight Australian shepherd.
“They just, for whatever reason, gravitated toward each other,” said Marcella Leone, founder of the center. “If the dog is with her then she’s just relaxed. He helps her take in change better than a wild animal is programmed to do.”
The center is a nonprofit, off-exhibit, accredited breeding reserve for rare and endangered animals.
Odie, who is neither rare nor endangered, is the pet of Leone’s husband.
Odie and Adaeze spend their days together, and sleep together. They are separated only at mealtime, and as soon as they are done eating they wait, nose-to-nose on opposite sides of a door, to be reunited.
It’s not the first time a dog has been used to chill out cheetahs.
The San Diego Zoo has been pairing dogs and cheetahs for about 40 years. Dogs help the cheetahs remain calm and better respond to each other, boosting the cheetah reproduction rate at the zoo.
Leone was hoping a dog would do that and more for Adaeze.
Leone told ABC News that she first tried pairing the cheetah with a younger dog that was very calm.
She had Odie fill in one day though, and he — despite his rambunctiousness — proved to be a better pairing.
“They roughhouse and play nonstop. They’re just best friends who love each other,” Leone said.
Adaeze is not domesticated, but a tame wild animal who has been trained to appear at wildlife conservation presentations — mainly about the plight the cheetah, an endangered animal, Greenwich Time reported.
Adaeze, with help from Odie, has become so calm and comfortable with crowds that has been selected out of the 18 cheetahs that live at the 100-acre LEO center to be its ambassador animal.
In coming months, the two companions will be attending a fundraiser for the Cheetah Conservation Fund in New York City, and presenting at the American Museum of Natural History and the Explorers Club.
Leone said at such presentation Odie will rarely sit when asked, but Adaeze always will.
“Odie is full of energy but is somehow this calming force for Adaeze,” she said.
(Photo: Leone, Adaeze and Odie, courtesy of LEO Zoological Conservation Center)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 21st, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adaeze, animals, australian shepherd, bond, bonding, breeding, cheetah, cheetah and dog, connecticut, dog, dog and cheetah, dogs, endangered species, family, friendship, greenwich, interspecies, leo, marcella leone, odie, pets, zoological conservation center
Lots of sports teams call themselves Lions, but the University of North Alabama boasts the only live lion mascots in the country — two of them.
I dropped by to see them– Leo III and Una — Friday. Ace, because I didn’t want to start a roaring contest, especially after our gas station run in with the big yellow dog, stayed in the air conditioned car with my son, who, living in Florence, had seen the lions many times before.
Now 7 years old, they reside in the climate-controlled, 12,764-square-foot George H. Carroll Lion Habitat, which was built with a waterfall, babbling streams, two observatories, private dens with skylights, beamed ceilings and a shaded area provided by a thatched roof. The habitat cost $1.3 million. Feeding and caring for the lions cost $35,000 annually, all of which, like the habitat’s construction, is covered by charitable contributions. The habitat also boasts what it describes as the “largest kitty litter box in this part of the state.”
UNA‘s live lion mascot tradition began in 1974, when then-President Dr. Robert Guillot acquired a 12-pound lion cub, Leo I, from a Knoxville zoo.
Leo I lived 14 years, becoming a locally beloved mascot, and the outpouring of support after his death led to Leo II being brought to UNA in July 1988. Leo II, who Sports Illustrated once named the second best college mascot in the country, died in 2000.
Leo III and Una, born on November 18, 2002, were the first residents of the new habitat, which opened that year.
You can also see them via a university lioncam.
Tomorrow: Coon Dog Cemetery
To read all of Dog’s Country, click here.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 6th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace does american, alabama, animals, dog's country, dogscountry, florence, george h. carroll, habitat, leo, leo I, leo II, leo III, lion, lion cam, lioncam, lions, mascot, ohmidog!, pets, sports, teams, travels with ace, una, university of north alabama, webcam
You’re may not exactly be a spring chicken if you remember this 1974 advertisement for Beautymist Pantyhose, in which a camera pans up a pair of sexy gams only to eventually come to a stop at the face of their owner — Joe Namath.
It was an unsettling little commercial, especially to one who, growing up outside of Baltimore, had chosen the rebellious and flamboyant Broadway Joe as a role model over straight arrow Johnny Unitas.
Now, Joe’s setting a disturbing example again: One of the former NFL quarterback’s dogs was declared dangerous this week in connection with the May 2008 biting of a home health aide that mistakenly stopped at Namath’s home in Florida — and that’s just one of four complaints against Namath’s dogs.
Namath, 66, appeared at a hearing Thursday in West Palm Beach to answer to charges that two of his dogs attacked people who came to his home in Tequesta, a community about 90 miles north of Miami.
His 6-year-old yellow Labrador retriever, Leo, was declared dangerous, but the case against another of Namath’s dog, a 6-year-old Weimeraner named Stella, was dropped because a witness didn’t appear, the Associated Press reported.
As a dangerous dog, Leo must now be muzzled and leashed both off and on Namath’s property. He must also have a microchip implanted and carry a special “dangerous dog designation tag” — though the latter seems to me to be a lot like those bumper stickers that read “If you can read this, you’re too damn close.”
If Leo bites someone else, he could be declared “vicious,” and euthanized, and Namath could face criminal charges, officials said. Namath had no comment on the charges.
Local animal control officials say there have been four reports of Namath’s dogs attacking people on his property since 2007, “and rumors of many more.”
A UPS driver said he was “accosted by a pack of dogs” on Namath’s property in May 2007. In February of this year, a contractor working at the home was reportedly bitten by Stella, the Weimaraner. That victim didn’t show up at this week’s hearing and the case against Stella was dropped. In August, a landscaper on Namath’s property was bitten by one of the former New York Jets dogs.
Posted by John Woestendiek November 14th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bite, biting, bitten, complaints, dangerous, dogs, florida, hearing, joe namath, leo, new york jets, quarterback, stella, west palm beach
Leo, a Jack Russell mix, is being hailed as a hero in Australia for refusing to leave the side of four kittens during a fire at the family home they shared in Melbourne.
The kittens and Leo were rescued by firefighters who revived him with oxygen and heart massage.
“Leo wouldn’t leave the kittens and it nearly cost him his life,” one firefighter said.