An unlikely playmate has been brought into the Dallas Zoo to help calm two male cheetah cubs: an 8-week-old black Labrador retriever puppy named Amani.
Amani is joining two 8-week-old feline brothers, Winspear and Kamau, born July 8 at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va.
According to a zoo statement, Amani means "peace" in Swahili.
Since Labs are easygoing in public settings and since the pup will grow with the cubs, zoo experts believe he'll provide a calming influence for the cats.
Winspear and Kamau will join the zoo's Animal Adventures outreach program to help teach the public about their highly endangered species.
The cheetah cubs are smoke-colored, with black spots and unique "tear stripes" below their eyes. As they grow, they will acquire the golden color of adult cheetahs, according to the zoo. When full grown, the cheetahs will measure about 3 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh up to 140 pounds.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.