Here’s a remarkable yet widely published picture of an Asiatic black bear and a black cat who are the best of friends. I love interspecies friendships. They signal the way we should relate to people of other nations, cultures and beliefs. It is the opposite to extremist beliefs, which are ruining the world (amongst other things).
The cat is called Muschi and the bear’s name is Maussachen. They live in Berlin Zoo. Maussachen is apparently the world’s oldest female Asiatic bear and has been at Berlin Zoo for over 40 years. The oldest black bear in captivity died aged 44. It seems that Maussachen has been at the zoo all her life.
Muschi wandered into Maussachen’s enclosure in 2000 and the friendship began. It is that simple. I like the fact that the zoo keepers accepted it and let it develop. I am sure it is very beneficial, psychologically, to Maussachen.
Maussachen’s natural habitat is in Afghanistan, the Himalayas, Southeast Asia, Japan and the far east of Russia. Muschi’s natural habitat is….Maussachen’s enclosure.
They snooze and eat together. As Maussachen is given food which exactly replicates her diet in the wild it consists of raw meat, dead mice and some fruit.
Cat heaven…a dead mouse. I always wondered how it would be possible for a cat to obtain a diet of mice. You have to live with a black bear in a zoo.
The Asiatic black bear is an omnivore. It has a very varied diet from nuts to hooved animals (ungulates). It kills adult water buffaloes by breaking their necks. This is a very strong animal that is more carnivorous than most bears. Yet she has a beautifully tender relationship with a domestic black cat.
They have been friends for ten years. I’d like to thank Dorothy (dw) for bringing this relationship to my attention.