WASHINGTON - Ever heard a cheetah purr? Turns out, they sound a lot like a house cat!
Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C. shared video of Gat, their 8-year-old cheetah, purring for zookeepers.
Cheetahs cannot roar like other large cats, such as lions and tigers, because their hyoid bone is only one piece while others' are comprised of two pieces, zoo staff explained.
Instead, cheetahs vocalize with chirps, growls and the occasional purr.
"Most cheetahs are not relaxed enough to purr when a human is in close proximity," the zoo said on its Facebook page.
But because Gat was hand-raised by animal caretakers at the zoo and is "very comfortable in their presence," he will purr when he's near them.
"The sound is a treat to keepers' ears!" the zoo wrote.