Cheetah Cuddles With Man Sleeping
Eden and Dolph have an unbreakable bond!
Jonathan Maes

Even though cheetahs are usually wild animals, some of them could easily be mistaken for affectionate pets. Meet Eden the cheetah, an adorable and friendly animal who just loves to hang around with other wildlife and humans.

Dolph Volker first met Eden while he was volunteering at Cheetah Experience in South Africa back in 2014. Dolph and Eden didn’t spend much time together at first, but when the man returned the next year their unlikely friendship was formed forever.

According to Dolph, it did take a while before Eden opened up. The two built a mutual trust between each other over a couple of days, and the cheetah slowly but surely started to get more affectionate towards Dolph. The man describes Eden as the nicest, most adorable and most friendly cheetah he’s ever seen.

Dolph C. Volker
Dolph C. Volker

Eden gives her human best friend a ton of kisses and licks, which you can see in the video below.

She also loves cuddling with Dolph and even manages to fall asleep right into his arms.

There is one small problem though, as cheetahs have small backward-pointing spikes on their tongues and those tend to hurt. Luckily, Dolph doesn’t really mind and gladly accepts the gentle licks from Eden to bond with her.

“The more she felt comfortable with me, the more she treated me just like another Cheetah which included the grooming, nibbling, biting, pacifying, purring, laying on me, and sleeping… cuddling up close to me. I’m amazed how much more interactive and affectionate Cheetahs are compared to the average domesticated cat,” he wrote on YouTube.

“Cheetahs LOVE to groom and nibble and it helps in bonding with them if you let them. It still hurt and I got slightly bloodied on my face, lips, chin, and ears, but it’s what I allowed to happen in order to bond with her.”

Dolph C. Volker
Dolph C. Volker

Dolph also mentions that Eden is the second cheetah that he’s easily bonded with. He’s fallen in love with the cheetah as a species and didn’t realize how special they were. The man calls himself honored that Eden takes a liking to him.

“I was honored that Eden liked me so much. But I think she is this way with everyone who lets her. There is no one she won’t like. The more you encounter her, the more relaxed she gets and the more she trusts you. She eventually learned my tolerance levels to her licking, grooming, biting and nibbling and adjusted her licks and bite pressure so I would allow her to do it. That’s pretty observant on her part. My dog learned not to bite hard in the exact same way.”

You can immediately see that Eden’s happiness shines throughout the video.

Dolph C. Volker
Dolph C. Volker

The footage quickly went viral on YouTube with over six million views. And if you want to see more, you can always view other videos of Eden the cheetah and other African wildlife on Dolph’s channel.

How adorable!

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