Siberian Tiger Befriends Lunch After Fearless Goat Shows Him Who's Boss

The unlikely friends are apparently thick as thieves.

He was supposed to be a meal, but a feisty goat became a pal of his predator instead.

Earlier this week, Timur the goat was sent into the enclosure of a Siberian tiger -- also known as an Amur tiger -- living in Russia’s Primorsky Safari Park.

Dmitry Mezentsev, the park’s director, told RIA Novosti that Timur was meant to be food for the hungry predator. “Year-round, we feed the tigers live prey twice a week,” he told the news outlet, adding that the Amur tiger had killed many goats, including large goats, in the past.

But this week, when Timur trotted into the tiger's enclosure, something unexpected happened.

“The goat was very brave. He flashed his horns or retaliated every time the Amur attacked,” Mezentsev told RIA. “The wary tiger was confused by this, and he decided not to mess with the goat.”

In footage of the extraordinary encounter, Timur is seen chasing the big cat around the enclosure. In a blog post, the park explained that Timur had shooed the tiger away from his usual sleeping spot, and the plucky goat had been sleeping there ever since. The Amur tiger, on the other hand, has been relegated to sleeping on the shelter's roof.

Remarkably, despite the initial confrontation between the two animals, the park says there seems to be no animosity between them.

Instead, the tiger and goat appear to have developed a close friendship.

“Timur follows the Amur everywhere, and the tiger quietly tolerates it." Mezentsev told RIA. "The goat even worries when the tiger disappears from sight, and will start looking for him.”

As NBC News notes, Timur the goat is named after a courageous boy from a popular children’s book from the Soviet era.

“It’s a worthy name for such a fearless animal,” the park told NBC.

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