Wildlife Safari is also the home of Sanurra (cheetah) and Ellie (Anatolian Shepherd Dog). This "cheetah/anatolian pair live in adjacent pens with a shared fenceline. They get along great through the fenceline with kisses etc. They miss each other when they are separated. But they play pretty rough. They love to wrestle, but we are very protective of both of them and only allow it for short periods of time always supervised," as Becca (Senior Cheetah Ranger) describes it.
Sanurra was born in November, 2005, at Wildlife Safari as a single birth. When she was 11 days old, her mother rejected her, and the staff began raising her. Ellie was born in September, 2005, and Wildlife Safari acquired her in January 2006 to be a companion to Ellie . . . because Anatolians are "saving wild cheetahs." Wildlife Safari has paired these animals in order to teach people about cheetah conservation and what is happening in Africa [farmers are exterminating cheetah for fear they will kill their livestock, so conservation projects like Cheetah Conservation Fund, DeWildt, and Cheetah Outreach (Annie Beckhelling's program) are placing Anatolian puppies with farmers to protect livestock from predators and deter cheetah from livestock so that farmers won't kill the cheetah].
Please enjoy this photo story of a play session between Ellie and Sanurra. The play progressed in the same order as you see these pictures. Many thanks to Wildlife Safari staff for the special tour, and especially for allowing Annie, Isik, and me to observe this unique interaction!
(Lacey is the one shown below in a picture who is supervising the play inside the containment area.)