Cheetah sees photographer napping under a tree and decides to join in

When you form a bond with an animal there is nothing better, you know that furry beast has your back and you accept them as part of your family.

When most people think of forming bonds with animals a cat or a dog would probably spring to mind but in this case a man formed an unlikely friendship with a wild animal.

Dolph C. Volker is a huge animal-lover, but it was a visit to South Africa to meet cheetahs that changed his life.

He was in awe of these creatures and even managed to get so close to one cheetah he can take a nap with her.

Now these two are best of friends and has filmed her taking a nap on his shoulder. It’s hard to believe how close this man can get to a cheetah.



Dolph has a zoology degree but it was after watching his first dog die in his arms that changed his life where animals were concerned.

“It changed me. All life has greater meaning now. Consistent repetitive, compassion, love, and respect,” he explains on his YouTube channel.

The Cheetah Whisperer/Facebook

His vacations from his full-time job in the U.S. are spent volunteering at The Cheetah Experience in South Africa.

The non-profit provides a home for endangered and threatened species, including cheetahs, leopards, male non-breeding lions, servals, caracals, African wildcats, wolves, meerkats and a Siberian tiger.

It was there that he fell in love with cheetahs and one particular cheetah who decided he wanted to become the best of friends with Dolph.

Cheetah snuggles up to him

Dolph was, understandably, a little hesitant of Eden the cheetah to start with, after all they are the fastest land animal and like to hunt in the day.

But when Dolph was napping under a tree one day Eden approached him and decided she wanted to snuggle up with him.

In the video below you can hear Eden’s loud purrs as she licks him, but he’s careful not to let her nip his ear. Later in the clip he says he got used to these once he decided he could trust her.


“True to Eden’s nature, she warmed up to me in days and ended up really liking me, so much so that I was able to trust her completely.

“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,” Dolph writes.

‘I’ve fallen in love with them’

He’s clearly smitten with these beautiful creatures, so much so he now calls himself “The Cheetah Whisperer” and posts videos of him with his cheetah friends.

“I had no idea Cheetahs were so special. I’ve fallen in love with them. It’s an incredible species that truly deserve help, support, and protection,” Dolph says, according to Animal Channel.

See Dolph allow Eden to groom him and fall asleep on him in the clip below.

I have never seen anyone get this close to a cheetah before, it’s so adorable.

But I think Dolph has a special talent for it, after all, not many of us would let a cheetah lick us.

Please share if you too were amazed by this bonding experience.