Thursday, January 19, 2006


At the Tokyo Zoo, a 3.5-inch hamster is buds with a 3-foot-long rat snake. For now.

Gohan the hamster and Aochan the snake are, as the Associated Press reports, strange bedfellows:
Zookeepers at Tokyo's Mutsugoro Okoku zoo presented the hamster -- whose name means "meal" in Japanese -- to Aochan as a tasty morsel 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."
Gohan's got some gonads.

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