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Sharing a bed with your furry friend has taken on a whole new meaning for Riana Van Nieuwenhuizen.

The sanctuary worker shares her South African home with not one but FOUR orphaned cheetahs, five lions and two tigers.

Forty-six-year-old Riana said: ‘I love them all. But they‘re a handful.’

Riana bought her first cheetah, Fiela in 2006, after realising the big cats were in trouble and heading for extinction with only 1000 left in Africa.

She left her full time job working for the department of justice - a position she had held for 22 years - and found temporary employment on a game ranch where she could raise her beloved big cat.

But Riana’s real dream was fully realised after she set up the not-for-profit Fiela Funds Cheetah Breeding Project in South Africa to ensure the long-term survival of the cheetah and their ecosystem.  

The project spreads over a hectare of land and visitors can meet Fiela and the other cats and even have their pictures taken.  

And if you want to outdo your friends in the wedding photo stakes the project also offers newly weds the chance to be snapped cuddling up to a big cat.

The cats in Riana’s own home are truly part of the family and are allowed to roam freely.  

Read more at the Source! 

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