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Now Amur the tiger teaches his friend Timur the goat how to hunt

By Olga Gertcyck
04 December 2015

Safari park odd couple get even closer as big cat tries to train his unlikely friend how to catch prey.

Timur - whose bravery won praise from around the world - is becoming nervous when he is not alongside his big cat protector. Picture: Dmitry Mezentsev

The friendship between the two animals has surprised not only keepers in the Russian Far East but much of the world. The goat was intended as the tiger's lunch but instead they became best mates. While they live in adjoining cages, they spend their days together strolling in the grounds of the park.

Dmitry Mezentsev, director of Shkotovo safari-park, said: 'Sometimes during walks the tiger behaves as if he is hunting. Timur copies the behaviour of the predator, and imitates him. But he is not likely to start hunting.'

Timur - whose bravery won praise from around the world - is becoming nervous when he is not alongside his big cat protector. 

'For two nights in a row Timur stays by the bars separating his cage from the tiger',' he said. 'He refuses to stay in his shelter and declines to eat his evening meal. He's more worried when the tiger is not around and when he is surrounded by people. He wants to be around the tiger to get rid off stress.'

Timur and Amur

Timur and Amur

'As friendly and happy as ever'. Pictures: Dmitry Mezentsev

Ten days into a relationship nature did not intend, the goat now considers humans as 'a threat, as predators'. The latest update is that Amur and Timur are 'as friendly and happy as ever'.

Despite this, a well-known Russian animal handler has demanded that the creatures should be permanently separated since the tiger can suddenly turn on the goat, despite his earlier refusal to eat him as a meal. 

'If the tiger for some reason misses one or two feeds - naturally, there can be no mercy. The instinct to win,' said Edgar Zapashy.

He warned: 'The goat can to try to run away, and he will become a target by doing so. Instinct will work - and that's all. What's more, the goat is not the smartest animal. He could be so brazen that he will run and attack the tiger and get a real resistance. 

'On the other hand perhaps they will live happily ever after, but it is better not to continue this experiment. I do not see any sense in this. They have created a funny precedent. Let's keep the good and kind fairy-tale ending.'

Timur and Amur


Timur and Amur

'On the other hand perhaps they will live happily ever after, but it is better not to continue this experiment.' Pictures: Dmitry Mezentsev, PrimaMedia

But Vladimir Krever, WWF-Russia bio-diversity coordinator, has predicted that this all-male relationship could become even more unexpected.

'One shouldn't apply terms of romantic novels to animals. But anything can happen in this unusual pair,' he told Moskovsky Komsomolets, predicting unexpected intimacy between them.

'As long as the predator is not hungry, the goat has a lot more chance to survive. However, there have been cases when even a hungry tiger didn't consider an animal he normally hunts on as food. Such examples of this paradoxical friendship can't be subject to predictions because it is related to particular intellectual features of this particular predator. There have been very limited studies of that.'

Comments (22)

It is a rare lesson for us the human beings, Why don't we learn not to hate people just because they belong to a different race or religion?
S.A.Malik, Peradeniya,Sri Lanka
22/12/2015 22:11
Great experiment for animal behaviors. Go on the experiment and observation if Amur saves Timur against to any other predator. I think Timur deserved to live till a natural death.
Ömer, Antalya, Turkey
22/12/2015 14:46
its nice, in many ways, like personal experiences above usual ones, even in such solid looking patterns as predator and prey situation. friends are not to be eaten, animals are not animals, etc.
nice, underworld
17/12/2015 04:34
Progress of the animals, setback of the human beings.
Alberto Vidal, Pontevedra España
15/12/2015 00:06
This is a beautiful story
janet, usa
13/12/2015 01:07
i have been hearing that Aur already lilled the goat,is that true?
Amir, Amsterdam,The Netherlands
12/12/2015 14:37
Humans do exactly the same. We keep pigs and chicken in farms....good friends until we kill and eat them.
Enrique, Spain
11/12/2015 02:05
One need not worry about the wild beasts around us. The lesson Timur taught us is that even wildest of the wild could be tamed.
nagaraju jinka, Hyderabad, India
09/12/2015 17:40
This is a global "Sign of The Ark"! The Ark is Here Again!
Pastor Fountain, Logos State, Nigeria
09/12/2015 03:23
But Vladimir Krever, WWF-Russia bio-diversity coordinator, has predicted that this all-male relationship could become even more unexpected.

And what is he expecting offspring !
goatiger, tigoat....
trevor, australia
07/12/2015 22:20
I think it is obvious by now Amur has gained our trust. If Timur the goat trust this giant pussycat,so should we. -Nature works in mysterious ways, don'f**k it up.
Gylfi Eiken Einarsson, brattvåg. norway
07/12/2015 12:25
The relationship between Amur and Timur should never have become an issue, as live feeding of prey animals to zoo carnivores is entirely unnecessary and against enlightened zoo ethics; the only exceptions would be carnivores who are being prepared for conservation release projects. Is it just because he was named that people are worried for the life of Timur, or do they care about other the welfare of other goats as well? It is correct that another tiger entering the enclosure is not likely to respect the bond between Timur and Amur, and is likely to kill Timur. But Timur wants to be with Amur, and separating Timur from Amur solely for the reason of protecting Timur from possible attack by Amur seems unreasonable - unless Timur is to be granted permanent lifetime sanctuary (and not be fed to a different predator, including of the human type) and other goats will not be fed to Amur instead of Timur. What to do when and if another tiger is placed in the enclosure is a more difficult problem. What a tangled web has been woven; it is up to zoo authorities to resolve the issues in the most humane manner possible.
Kim Rogers Bartlett, Clinton WA USA
06/12/2015 22:59
Separate them immediately and stop feeding live animals to the tiger!!!!
Donna, England
06/12/2015 18:01
very interesting!!!
zina, China
06/12/2015 14:10
What an amazing treat!
Also, what a wonderful lesson!
If Amur and Timur can cohabit peacefully, why not us - humans?
rajat roychowdhury, india
06/12/2015 12:49

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