It’s an unlikely story of love and friendship. A “bromance” has developed between a rare Amur Tiger and a goat that was intended to be his meal at Pirmorsky Safari Park in Russia.
The goat that has been named ‘Timur’ in honor of his bravery in facing his predator has been observed for several days frolicking in the snow with his newfound friend.
Timur is sleeping at the spot inside the Amur Tiger’s shelter where the large cat previously rested. The Amur Tiger has now taken to resting on top of the shelter, guarding his friend.
Safari park staff have expressed surprise at the friendship on their website, saying the tiger usually dines on live goats and rabbits without a care, twice a week.
The Primorsky Safari Park runs a program for breeding rare tigers in captivity, partly to give the large animal the chance to hunt his prey. The Amur Tiger’s affection for Timur the goat is highly unusual after three years of hunting other goats.
Timur appears to think the Amur Tiger is his leader chasing and following it at every turn.
The two animals are fed every day in the hope of helping the friendship continue and to avoid a bloody ending.
The safari park now posts daily updates of the friendship, saying the tiger “hisses” to warn off workers from approaching too closely to Timur.
The pair have been dubbed ‘the cautious Amur and the brave Timur’ by fans.
Despite the peaceful cohabitation, fans of Timur the goat have called on the zoo to separate them for Timur’s safety, RT said.
Visitors to the zoo’s website have left messages calling the goat “sensational” and saying “he has earned the right to live”.
One visitor, Bogdan, wrote: “Let his story be not only about the compassion the tiger showed towards the brave goat, but about people showing humanism too.”
Separating the two might be difficult, with Amur showing a protective attitude towards his new friend.
“[Amur] hissed at an employee who feeds the tigers, as if to tell him, ‘Hey, don’t you ever approach my friend’,” RT reported a keeper saying.
“Before that, he never showed any aggression towards staff.”