A tiger and a goat have become unlikely friends at a zoo in Russia's far eastern Primorye region, astounding visitors and employees by wandering together around the park during the day and sharing a shack at night, according to videos and statements on the park's website.
Primorye's Safari-Park is trying to breed endangered Amur tigers in captivity — a program that requires feeding the animals live prey twice a week, the zoo said in a statement. But one of the goats that zoo employees recently delivered to Amur the tiger as potential dinner turned out to be a “very brave one,” and the tiger apparently decided that the animal deserved to be a friend, instead of a meal, according to the zoo.
The tiger is still treated to live prey twice a week, but only rabbits now, the zoo said, adding: “From now on, we will not give goats to Amur.”
Amur's enclosure has a rain and snow shelter — inside which the tiger used to sleep. But the goat has “evicted Amur from his own bedroom,” the zoo said.
Video footage taken last week showed the tiger lying on the roof of the shelter, while the goat takes a comfortable position inside.
“Amur the tiger used to roar frequently — both during the day and at night,” the zoo said in a blog on its website. “Following the friendship with Timur, the roaring has practically stopped, the tiger has become calmer.”
But nighttime roaring resumed Sunday when zoo employees “tricked” the tiger into an adjacent enclosure for the night, separating it from Timur, Safari-Park reported in its blog, chronicling the unlikely friendship.
The animals were separated again for the night on Monday, but spent the following day walking around the park together again, the park reported.
“They are as inseparable and peaceful as ever,” park director Dmitry Mezantsev said on the blog.
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