Sunday, December 17, 2006

Aochan (the Snake) and Gohan (the Hamster): Pals

A rodent-eating snake and a hamster have developed an unusual bond at a zoo in Tokyo. October last year, when zookeepers presented the hamster to the rat snake, it refused to eat the rodent. The two now share a cage, and the hamster sometimes falls asleep sitting on top of his natural foe.

"I have never seen anything like it," a zookeeper at the Mutsugoro Okoku zoo said. (The hamster was initially offered to Aochan, the two-year-old rat snake, because it was refusing to eat frozen mice. )

As a joke, the zookeeper said they named the hamster Gohan - the Japanese word for meal.

"Aochan seems to enjoy Gohan's company very much," said zookeeper Kazuya Yamamoto.
The apparent friendship between the snake and hamster is one of many reported bonds spanning the divide between predator and prey.

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