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Richmond Zoo’s cheetah cub, puppy best friends celebrate first birthday

Posted at 7:25 AM, May 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-14 09:02:14-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va -- Two Richmond Zoo is holding a special birthday celebration Thursday.

Kumbali the cheetah cub and Kago the lab-mix puppy are both turning one year old!

The two became friends after zoo keepers introduced them in May 2014. Kumbali needed a friend since cheetahs in the wild bond with each other. Kumbali, though, has special medical needs that prevent that.

Since then, the two have been separated only for meals.

"It's been amazing to see them grow up together. They were about the same size for a while, and now Kumbali is much larger than Kago, and will continue to get larger," Jim Andelin, the zoo's director said.

Thursday's celebrations include a small party, complete with special treats wrapped like a present.