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  1. ITV Report

Loyal puppy camps out while cheetah best friend undergoes surgery

Raina the puppy during and after the surgery on Ruuxa the cheetah. Credit: San Diego Zoo

A loyal puppy camped out in the operating room while her best friend, a cheetah cub called Ruuxa, underwent important surgery.

The young cheetah needed treatment to fix a growth abnormality on his front legs.

The unlikely pals were paired together at around five weeks of age after Ruuxa was rejected by his mother.

Raina, a Rhodesian ridgeback puppy, is now so attached to her big cat companion that she waited patiently throughout the surgery and until the cheetah's anaesthetic wore off.

Raina waited patiently for Ruuxa to come round after surgery. Credit: San Diego Zoo

"Raina appeared very concerned about Ruuxa when she saw he was sleeping and she couldn't wake him," San Diego Zoo animal training manager Susie Ekard said.

"She licked him and nuzzled him, and when he awoke, she lay with him and seemed very content to know her cheetah was OK.”

The cheetah cub is doing well after surgery - as you can see in the video below - and is expected to make a full recovery.