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 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.