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Russian goat who made unlikely friends with tiger dies

MOSCOW – A Russian goat named Timur whose unusual friendship with a tiger won him nationwide fame, has died, manager of the safari park where the couple lived, said Friday.

"Timur's heart stopped beating on November 5," said Dmitry Mezentsev, director of a safari park outside Vladivostok's port.

The mad goat, believed to be about five years old, was cremated and will be buried "with full distinction," his keeper Elvira Golovina said in a statement.

The goat died of natural causes, but his health deteriorated following a change with a male Siberian tiger that he unexpectedly turned to in 2015, Mezentsev said.

In a story that captivated Russia, Timur was sent to the safari park as a living prey for Amur, the Siberian tiger.

But the tiger did not touch the mad goat when it entered the enclosure at the end of 201

5 because the goat showed no fear.

The two quickly became inseparable.

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Mezentsev, who studies tigers and leopards, at that time described the unlikely friendship as nothing more than a miracle and a "sign from above" to make people more friendly to each other.

Timur and Amur slept in the same cupboard, ate and played together. The tiger tried to teach the goat how to catch prey. They also played head games and chased each other.

But the friendship grew as the goat became more daring and began to challenge the big cat.

"Timur crowed the tiger for about a month," said Mezentsev.

In January 2016, the tiger waits patiently after the goat walked on him. He seized Timur and threw him from a hill.

Frenemies were separate, but Timur's health took a turn for the worse.

He began to slip and lost some of his life while remaining "naughty," said Mezentsev

The park sent the goat to Moscow for treatment, but he never fully recovered after the attack of the tiger, who still lives and lives in Safari park.

The owners now plan to erect a bronze monument on Timur's grave.

Many Russians said they were saddened by his passing.

"Fearless Timur, you will forever remain in our hearts," said one mourner.

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