Amur tiger with Timur the goat
A Siberian tiger and a goat, which showed an unlikely friendship in a Russian zoo, have been separated following violent behaviour of the big catDmitry Mezentsev/Primorye Safari Park

An unusual friendship between a goat and a Siberian tiger at Seaside safari park in Primorsky, Russia has come to an end. After staying peacefully together in the same enclosure for over two months, Timur the goat and Amur the tiger have been separated, park officials said.

The goat was put into the tiger's enclosure as live prey in November 2015. To park officials' surprise, the tiger did not attack the goat. The two were seen together all the time and appeared to be friendly. Zoo officials even said that Amur became calmer after the goat arrived.

However, the relationship came to an end after Timur started nudging the tiger with its horns. In retaliation, Amur grabbed the goat by the neck and threw him to one side. The goat was surprised but unharmed. It lay down after the attack and Amur was lured away with a rabbit.

Dmitry Mezentsev, the safari park director, said Amur "immediately" killed and ate the rabbit. He added Timur was moved out of the tiger's enclosure for a veterinary examination and was found to be suffering from shock.

Vets said the shift in Amur's behaviour was related to a female tiger being in heat - a period of sexual receptivity in mammals. This causes males to become "aggressive and unpredictable", Mezentsev said.