Meet Kinji. He is a friendly young cheetah at Cheetah Experience, a not-for-profit organization in South Africa that provides sanctuary for a number of endangered and threatened species, including cheetahs, leopards, male lions, servals, caracals, African wildcats, wolves, meerkats and a Siberian tiger.
Kinji loves the meerkats, and often goes down to visit them. The feeling, however, is certainly not mutual. Not that Kinji cares! While the meerkats see Kinji as a natural enemy and therefore a threat, Kinji just wants a little attention. Rubbing himself on the enclosure, you can tell from his purrs that while the meerkats furiously try to repel him with fearless attacks, Kinji is actually loving it, mistaking the attacks for friendly grooming.
According to carer Dolph C. Volker, Kinji very rarely purrs and the meerkat ‘attacks’ are one of the only things that gets him do it. “Not even I can get Kinji to purr” he says. “I think Kinji enjoys the scratching the meerkats do to his fur. But they are definitely trying to hurt him.” I guess some like it rough!
You can Visit the Cheetah Experience website to find out more about Kinji and his meerkat frenemies.