Despite the prophetic warnings of Dr. Venkman, the true sign of the apocalypse will not be dogs and cats but snakes and hamsters, living together!

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

Assigning symbolic meanings to the snake and hamster is left as an exercise for the reader.

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