The incredible friendship between a tiger called Amur and the goat Timur, who was meant to be his dinner, has finally reached its end.
A photo posted by Амур и Тимур. Оф. страница. (@amur_i_timur) on Jan 23, 2016 at 10:55pm PST
Although it looked like nothing could get in the way of their friendship, the Russian zoo sheltering these two animals announced on January 26th that they would have to be separated. Why? For starters, the goat had put on too much weight since living with Amur. Timur, the goat, has put on 20 kilos in just two months, an unhealthy amount.
A photo posted by Амур и Тимур. Оф. страница. (@amur_i_timur) on Jan 23, 2016 at 10:57pm PST
Dmitry Mezentsev, the zoo manager, explained to the Russian website Tass:
The main problem with Timur is his obesity. It could be dangerous for his health.
What's more, the female tigers in the zoo are starting to come into their mating period. This means that Amur, the male tiger, might undergo a change in behaviour and could become more aggressive, which would be life-threatening for Timur.We must remember that Timur was originally put in Amur's enclosure as her meal. Their ensuing friendship was totally surprising and unheard of before.
A photo posted by Амур и Тимур. Оф. страница. (@amur_i_timur) on Jan 23, 2016 at 10:50pm PST
Dmitry Mezentsev went on to say :
We've decided to protect Timur from the male tiger's potential change in behaviour.
Recently, the two friends had a pretty hairy play-fight which alerted the zookeeper's attention to the potential dangers:
Timur pushed Amur down the slope, poked him with his horns and legs, and finally stepped on Amur while he was sleeping... Amur woke up, grabbed Timur with his teeth, shook him like a kitten, and threw him away.
For Dmitry Mezentsev, the exchange was less an attack and rather a lesson that the tiger was giving the goat. So that the pair didn't come into more conflict, the two friends have now been put into separate enclosures.
A video posted by Амур и Тимур. Оф. страница. (@amur_i_timur) on Feb 3, 2016 at 4:51am PST
The two animals became internet starts, and zoo visits went up by 300%. An Instagram account was even set up for people to follow the friends' daily exchanges.Although there's been some trouble in paradise, it doesn't mean that the two friends won't ever be reunited again one day.
A video posted by Амур и Тимур. Оф. страница. (@amur_i_timur) on Feb 3, 2016 at 4:53am PST
For now, we can't forget the ultimate irony that the zoo is now trying to protect the goat's life, when they originally offered him as live meat for the tiger's lunch, a shocking practice done in front of the eyes of eager visitors.Thankfully, most zoos have banned this horrific practice, but it still goes in in countries like Russia and China.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQGoPpjhX1Y&feature=youtu.be
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