“Akwaaba takes in abused animals, cubs who have been neglected by their mothers, animals who have been injured and even unwanted animals, so they can have a better future and a loving home.”
Some things are hard to believe until you actually see them with your own two eyes. Certain animals just don’t mix and tend to stay clear of each other. But that’s not what’s happening in a wildlife preserve.
A beautiful speckled jaguar and a Jack Russel Terrier have sparked up the most unusual friendship in South Africa.
Jag, was a young jaguar when he came to live at Akwaaba, a Predator Park in Rustenburg, South Africa. The facility owner, Layla had a plan to give the new jaguar some company.
Layla recalls those first few sleepless nights …
“Every night he needed comfort. And he took me as a mum and as I could not let him sleep with me all the time, I put the dog with him. These two struck it off straight away.”
It was her trusty Jack Russell Terrier, named Bullet, that struck up the friendship. When Layla tried to separate the two it was a disaster. Jag was up all night crying and howling. He couldn’t be consoled for 24 hours straight. And Bullet wouldn’t leave the door to his pen.
Layla put the two back together and they haven’t separated since. They are like brothers. They eat, sleep, and cohort together.
Who’s the dominant in the relationship, you ask? It’s that little pup of course.
Bullet may be small but he can exert serious dominance and keep his best pal, Jag, in line.
Layla explains, “The dog’s the dominant one. The Jaguar obviously has more power. If he’s hurting him or anything the dog will growl or bark and the Jaguar knows when to stop.”
Akwaaba Predator Park’s mission statement to treat their animals with love and affection.
“We aim to inform and educate. The animals are known by name worldwide and treated like royalty. We have tremendous respect for each one.”
The dream of Mr. Nazeer Cajee, a South African born man with Indian heritage, Akwaaba is a place where tourists can see firsthand some of the amazing predator cats that roam Africa. They currently have jaguars, cheetahs, black leopards, wild dogs, hyenas, white lions, and tigers.
Mr. Nazeer Cajee wanted to be a vet his whole life as he has a deep love for animals. But due to South Africa’s Apartheid, he was unable to get the education needed. So he decided to open a wildlife sanctuary to care for and keep predator animals.
The dream of Akwaaba started with two lion cubs and it has grown to be a major destination for tourists and locals in Rustenburg, South Africa.
YouTubers are comparing these two besties with some of their unlikely friendships …
“When you and your friend have completely different personalities but are best friends nonetheless.”
“That’s me hanging out with freshmen during my senior year, LMAO.”
And some YouTubers are posting funny comments about what would happen if one of them gets hungry…
“It’s all good until the jaguar gets his meal late and then he will turn the dog into a hotdog.”
“It’s all fun and games until the Jack Russell gets hungry.”
If you want to spice up your social media feed, plan a trip to Akwaaba, where you can snap a picture with a wild cat, or even Bullet the Jack Russel. Their website has some examples of just how close you can get to these lions, cheetahs, and cubs.
Just try and keep a smile on your face when you’re sitting next to a real live lion. The smile will look a lot cooler than a fearful and frightened gasp.
Watch their incredible unlikely friendship below!
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