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Savanah the cheetah and Max the dog at Cincinnati Zoo

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  • A cheetah and a Labrador have become best friends in at an Ohio zoo
  • Savanah and Max have been playing together since they were cub and pup
  • Their joy over the first snow was captured on film at Cincinnati zoo

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 12:13 EST, 18 December 2013 | UPDATED: 12:55 EST, 18 December 2013

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These stunning images could be mistaken for a cheetah ravenously chasing down a dog, but in fact, the pair playing in the snow at an Ohio zoo are best of friends.

Savanah, the one-and-a-half-year-old cheetah and Max, a Labrador who is just a few weeks younger, were put together when Savanah was just ten-weeks-old.

The adorable footage shows Savanah and Max playfully chasing after each other in an enclosure at Cincinnati Zoo.

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Unlikely pals: Savanah, the cheetah and Max the dog play together at Cincinatti Zoo

Unlikely pals: Savanah, the cheetah and Max the dog play together at Cincinatti Zoo

BFFs: Savanah and Max wasted no time when the first snow fell, and just like young children were very excitable and wasted no time playing in the snow

BFFs: Savanah and Max wasted no time when the first snow fell, and just like young children were very excitable and wasted no time playing in the snow

 

Ever since, their friendship has amazed visitors at Cincinatti Zoo, who are delighted but confused as to why the spotted beast hasn't eaten the dashing hound.

In the video Savanah is seen chasing Max around an enclosure at Cincinnati Zoo and pouncing on him in some bushes.

The exuberant Labrador appeared to have more energy than his cheetah friend and, as Savanah caught her breath, he leaped through the air and into her, before the pair tore off again.

Max is part of a program that uses companion dogs to give cheetahs born in captivity more confidence.

Cuteness overload: Savanah and Max play together as cub and pup last year

Cuteness overload: Savanah and Max play together as cub and pup last year

Best friends: Savannah was introduced to Labrador Max when she was still a cub

Best friends: Savannah was introduced to Labrador Max when she was still a cub

Savanah

Savanah got a taste for chasing Max from an early age and has been doing it ever since

Savanah

A temporary pause in the action as Savanah catches his breath and Max chews on a toy... but for how long?

Savanah

Give me that! Back to his dominant self, Savanah wants what Max has got and despite being much smaller, fancies his chances at getting it

Snow pals: The cheetah and the dog were put together when Savanah was just 10-weeks-old, and ever since, their friendship has amazed visitors at Cincinatti Zoo

Snow pals: The cheetah and the dog were put together when Savanah was just 10-weeks-old, and ever since, their friendship has amazed visitors at Cincinatti Zoo

Her best bud: Max is part of a program that uses companion dogs to give cheetahs born in captivity more confidence

Her best bud: Max is part of a program that uses companion dogs to give cheetahs born in captivity more confidence

Just the two of us: In Cincinnati Zoo, Savannah and Max have been inseparable since being introduced as youngsters last year

Just the two of us: In Cincinnati Zoo, Savannah and Max have been inseparable since being introduced as youngsters last year

Many of the cheetahs living in captivity find it hard to relate to other big cats, and safari parks were struggling with breeding programs for the endangered species.

But when San Diego Zoo started pairing the big cats with dogs about 30 years ago it marked the start of a beautiful friendship.

'The dog always has the cat's back, but it's never the other way around. Dogs worry about their cats. They protect their cats,' Janet Rose-Hinostroza, of San Diego Zoo, told NBC.

In Cincinnati Zoo, Savanah and Max have been inseparable since being introduced as youngsters last year.

While they have plenty of play time together, they are fed separately and Max also has play dates with other dogs and humans.

Dog days: Pairing cheetas with dogs were suggested as a solution for  cheetahs living in captivity to make friends in zoos

Surveying her territory, Savanah has taken to both the zoo and Max and delights visitors by chasing poor Max around the enclosure

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