Photos: 10-week-old cheetah cub finds new home in North County

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SAN DIEGO — A 10-week-old cheetah is the newest animal ambassador at Wild Wonders, a wildlife sanctuary in Bonsall.

The cub, named Tavi, was brought to the animal sanctuary in October when his mother was no longer able to care for him, which often happens when only one cub is born or survives. Wildlife staff decided to hand raise him, and Wild Wonders was thrilled to step up and take on the responsibility, sanctuary staff said.

Like the sanctuary’s other cheetahs, Tavi will serve as an ambassador for his cheetah cousins in the wild. His name, which means good in Aramaic, was chosen in honor of the sanctuary’s beloved Victor and his pseudo-sibling Tango.

Wildlife staff has been practicing leash training with Tavi so that he will be comfortable outside his habitat in his role of ambassador. They’re also working to introduce him to his new companion, a Labrador puppy named Yarra.

“Yarra will help Tavi learn to be brave. Having a dog as a playmate will give him confidence, which is much needed in his role of teaching people about cheetah conservation,” the sanctuary said.

Staff said it will be a while before Tavi is able to join its other cheetahs, Masika and Hasani, in the cheetah exercise yard. You can follow his adventures on a special Wild Wonders webpage.

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