First pioneered 30 years ago at the San Diego Zoo, dog-cheetah friendships can have an important function for cheetahs bred in captivity, like Kumbali. "This symbiotic relationship would never happen in the wild; however, we believe the positive outcomes outweigh any negative," the zoo wrote. "As the two grow up together, they create a bond that becomes almost inseparable, sibling-like. They provide companionship for each other. The dog has a calming influence because the cheetah will take behavioral cues from the dog, learning not to fear his surroundings, but instead embracing them with confidence."