- The Washington Times - Friday, September 6, 2013

Two baby cheetahs that just joined the animal population at the Dallas Zoo were welcomed aboard with smiles, a new pen and a gift — an 8-week-old black Labrador retriever puppy.

But it’s not a snack — it’s a friend, zoo officials said, The Associated Press reported.

The cheetahs, also 8 weeks old, are named Winspear and Kamau and were born at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va., AP said.

Their new friend, puppy Amani — Swahili for “peace” — was chosen as a calming influence for the cheetahs, as they get accustomed to their new surroundings, zoo officials said, in the AP report.

Labs are an easygoing breed, and Amani will grow with Winspear and Kamau — like a family, zoo officials said.

The cheetahs are part of the zoo’s Animal Adventures program that educates the public on endangered species.