A goat, which was put inside a tiger's enclosure at Seaside safari park in Primorsky, Russia, has been found to be befriending the tiger, the park officials have said. Timur the goat was put as live prey for a Siberian tiger, also known as Amur the tiger.
Amur and Timur have been staying in the park together for nearly two weeks but the big cat has not preyed upon the goat. The two are inseparable and appear to be friendly all the time, instead. The zoo staff described the friendship as extraordinary.
"The situation is, of course, unusual, amazing, [and] phenomenal. I did not believe it. But it is a reality. They are friendly and everywhere together," Dmitry Mezentsev, director of the safari park, said in a statement.
The zoo officials have also noticed a change in the behaviour of three-year-old Amur that used to roar often but has become calmer since the goat arrived. "The tiger has become calmer and more balanced," Mezentsev said.
Wild cats in the Russian park are given specifically bred animals to hunt and eat at least once a week. "It is necessary for the long-term health of the predators," Mezentsev said, adding that Amur had hunted a lot of goats in the past but does not touch Timur.
In the case of Timur, the staff said the goat never showed any fear of the tiger. On the third day in the enclosure, as the goat chewed hay, the tiger was near but Timur did not show aggression and nervousness, they said.
Timur and Amur now sleep together in the same shelter though the goat rests inside while the tiger sleeps on the roof. "This is a sign from above. People, take a look at yourselves. There are wars everywhere -- Ukraine, Syria, while such different animals can live together in peace," AFP quoted Mezentsev as saying.
As Nature's law would have it, speculation is now rife that Timur may fall prey to Amur any moment but the park workers are sure about the goat's life. "Timur is in no more danger than a human living next to another human," Mezentsev said