These unlikely friends in Russia’s Primorye safari park in the Russian Far East have captured the hearts of the world.
In November, Timur the goat was thrown into Amur the tiger’s enclosure as a form of live meat. A treat the tiger could track down and feast upon. Usually lunch doesn’t last long – but in this case, two months on, Timur and Amur have forged an unlikely friendship.
When people observed the goat was still alive and kicking after a week, they were amazed. The Siberian Times insisted “the tiger will eat his pal the goat” and zoo expert Rostislav Shilo said ‘it absolutely can’t last’.
Before Timur came along, zoo keepers were live-feeding Amur twice a week with a diet of rabbits. This still continues, but they have promised not to release more goats into the enclosure out of respect to Timur said Dmitry Mezentsev. Goat is off the menu.
It’s thought the unlikely friendship started because of Timur’s amazing bravery. The goat had never lived in the wild and had never learned to be frightened of tigers. And so he wasn’t.
The pair have become so close, Dmitry Mezentsev told the observer that “the goat becomes nervous when he loses sight of the tiger, and immediately starts looking for him. The tiger tolerates him calmly.”
It will certainly be interesting to see how the friendship develops, or if Amur will give into his predators instincts. But for now it seems the two are thick as thieves.