Goat-tiger odd couple may be over

MOSCOW (AP) – A romance that enchanted Russia may be over: Timur the goat and Amur the tiger have had a fight and aren’t together anymore.

In November, the goat was placed in the tiger’s compound in a wildlife park near Vladivostok with the expectation that the big cat would eventually kill and eat him. But the two not only tolerated each other, they appeared to become friends. The odd couple became a popular topic on social media, and T-shirts celebrating them went on sale.

A contest for the best idea for the cartoon about the two is running on the park’s website. Six cameras are streaming live video of the odd couple’s enclosure and the park’s YouTube channel features the video clips of the best moments of this weird friendship with the comments from scientists and the park staff.

But lately, the goat has been pushing it, constantly annoying and butting the tiger. According to the news agency Zvezda TV, the two had an argument Jan. 18 and the tiger smacked the goat up his head with the paw.

This week the goat got into the tiger’s face too and ended up with more serious injuries than just a few scratches.

“Finally, the tiger couldn’t hold back, grabbed the goat by the withers and tossed him,” park director Dmitry Mezentsev told state news agency Tass on Friday.

“We decided to put them in different enclosures for a while,” he said.

The culprit for the quarrel may be Amur’s sister Taiga, who lives in a nearby enclosure. She is in heat and that can seriously affect the behavior of the males around her.

The goat got serious injuries and is currently taking antibiotics, according to Zvezda.

WFLA web staff contributed to this report.

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