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[from msnbc.com]

Hamster, snake best friends at Tokyo zoo
‘I’ve never seen anything like it,’ zookeeper says of unlikely pairing

TOKYO - Gohan and Aochan make strange bedfellows: one's a 3.5-inch dwarf hamster; the other is a yard-long rat snake.

Zookeepers at Tokyo's Mutsugoro Okoku zoo presented the hamster — whose name is a tasty rice dish in Japanese — to Aochan as a snack in October, after the snake refused to eat frozen mice.

But instead of indulging, Aochan decided to make friends with the furry rodent, according to keeper Kazuya Yamamoto. The pair have shared a cage since.

"I've never seen anything like it. Gohan sometimes even climbs onto Aochan to take a nap on his back," Yamamoto said.

Aochan, a 2-year-old male Japanese rat snake, eventually developed an appetite for frozen rodents but has so far shown no signs of gobbling up Gohan — despite her name.

"We named her Gohan as a joke," Yamamoto chuckled. "But I don't think there's any danger. Aochan seems to enjoy Gohan's company very much."

The Tokyo zoo also keeps a range of mostly livestock animals, and promotes "cross-breed interaction," according to Yamamoto.

But Gohan and Aochan's case was "was a complete accident," Yamamoto said.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 20th, 2006 05:00 am (UTC)
aw! that's so cute. I love those little mismatched pairs in the animal world. :)
Jan. 20th, 2006 05:14 am (UTC)
Jan. 20th, 2006 05:30 am (UTC)
Jan. 20th, 2006 06:28 am (UTC)
For fucks sake! Look at its cute little hands.. eeeeeek
Jan. 20th, 2006 06:46 am (UTC)
That is possibly the cutest thing ever.
Jan. 20th, 2006 07:03 am (UTC)
Ooo, so cute!

That poor snake, though. All getting ready to shed and being forced on-camera. He must be gorgegous right after a shed.
Jan. 20th, 2006 07:11 am (UTC)
Don't let 'em fool ya!
That hamster is just trying to figure out which end of the snake to eat first! ]}:{)>
Jan. 20th, 2006 07:18 am (UTC)
I just hope they keep the snake well fed... because friend or no friend... if he's hungry, I smell disaster.

How freaking adorable though... :) Makes me miss my old Dwarf Hamsters Ruby and Pearl.
Jan. 20th, 2006 08:32 am (UTC)
the snakes eyes are clouded over which means it's going to molt in a short time. Snakes usually don't want to eat anything weeks before they are going to shed their skin or if they are sizk, so it could be the case that once it's lost it's skin it'll be ravenous. My brother raised boa constrictors and pythons for years and usually this was the case. Sometimes if a snake doesn't want to eat a rodent right away, and it sits in there with it for a while, they won't touch it. We actually made a pet out of a rat once because his boa Sheila wouldn't eat a rat he put in the cage with her. But after we took that rat out and replaced it with another smaller one, she gobbled it up in a heart beat.
Jan. 20th, 2006 03:46 pm (UTC)
*nods* agreed. 've heard of similar things before, from working at a petstore. Interestingly enough though, once they get their appetite, they still aren't interested in that particular rodent for food.
Also...rodent = warmth! and I think that's a large part of why the snake doesn't eat it.
Jan. 20th, 2006 11:46 am (UTC)
Awwww...... so cute!
Jan. 20th, 2006 01:46 pm (UTC)
That's just chuffing adorable!!


Jan. 20th, 2006 02:49 pm (UTC)
Aaaw. That is too cute. I'm not sure which one I want to pick up more...;)
Jan. 20th, 2006 03:22 pm (UTC)
Aaaw, the hamster's so cute. I can't shake that feeling of doom tho.
Jan. 21st, 2006 04:18 am (UTC)
I see a Disney film in the making here..

Cute, but in agreeance that that snake had better be well fed or I'm not sure the friendship will last..
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )