Safari Park Baffled as Tiger and Goat Become Best Friends
by Kirsten Howard
It sounds like the plot of a Disney movie, but in a heart-warming turn of events Amur the tiger – a fierce predator who has been surviving on a steady diet of goats for some time – has become best friends with his own lunch.
It all started when Timur the goat was pushed into the Siberian tiger’s enclosure at the Far Eastern Safari Park at Shkotovsky in Russia just over a week ago. The goat, seemingly unfazed by the situation, confronted the tiger head-on. Bizarrely, the tiger backed down from the confrontation and they've been palling around ever since. Initially, Amur the tiger even gave up his own sleeping quarters and let Timur move in.
“Amur and Timur are friends, not a predator and a victim. The situation is, of course, unusual, amazing and quite phenomenal. I would have not believed it if someone told me. But this is a reality. They are friendly and they are inseparable," said Dmitry Mezentsev, the director of the safari park, to the Siberian Times. "Look at these pictures and say who do you see: are they a victim and a predator, or are they the best friends?”
In fact, the animals are now drinking and eating together in addition to enjoying their daily walks, with the oblivious Timur often chasing Amur around. However, Amur is no longer being fed goats – just in case.
“We have now stopped feeding Amur with goats altogether. He will continue getting live prey twice a week, but it will be only rabbits,” added Mezentsev.
Here's a video of the two together:
Amur has also become protective of Timur, hissing at a familiar member of staff when he got too close to his new friend. Afterward, he sniffed the goat to check he was alright. Mezentev sees this as clear proof that their friendship is solid and that the situation will not end badly.
“We are not afraid of the goat's life because if Amur wanted to eat him, it would have happened a while ago. Amur is a strong predator, he dealt with prey much bigger than Timur. We think that brave Timur proved that he can live with the tiger and so be it, he will stay with Amur.”
Amur the tiger is soon to be presented with a girlfriend at the Russian park. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that she will be supportive of her beau's newfound bromance with Timur.
All images via Siberian Times