A zoo in China has reunited Changmao and Chunzi, a ram and a deer that were separated after their torrid love affair was made public — and then brought back together because of the unlikely animal couple's violent desperation of being apart.
Changmao, a two-year-old ram, and Chunzi, a three-year-old doe, had been cohabitating at Yunnan Wild Animal Park, in the southwestern city of Kunming, for more than a year, the state-controlled China Daily newspaper reported.
Chunzi was reportedly the "prettiest deer" in the pen. And Changmao the ram, whose name means "Long Hair," had "fascinated" Chunzi since she was young, China Daily said.
Zookeeper Liu Gencheng, 24, told China Daily that he kept quiet when he discovered the couple having interspecies sex.
"I've seen that many times. I know they usually do it in the morning," Liu said.
But then the zoo's vet caught the pair in the act, and reported it to the zoo manager.
"This is hard to believe," said vet Liu Lingxiang. "My colleagues and I have never seen sex between two different species of animals."
Soon the media got wind of the affair, with a local TV channel reporting on their relationship. Microbloggers on Weibo — China's equivalent of Twitter — began gossiping.
"Sex between different species of animals is not natural," argued conservationist Long Yongcheng, who reportedly watched the pair closely for four days until finally getting photographs of Changmao and Chunzi copulating. He posted the intimate photos online.
But here the story gets more complicated. It seems Chunzi wasn't Changmao's only lover — just last weekend, he fathered a lamb with the only female sheep at the zoo.
Zoo officials thought Changmao should be separated from his concubine doe Chunzi in order to care for his new same-species mate and baby.
But the star-crossed couple had other plans.
As he was being dragged away from his lover, he became furious and banged on the fence separating them, trying to get close to her again. She was equally desperate, and with all her efforts squeezed through the fence and rushed to him. A sweet kiss followed.
The separation lasted only for about two hours Friday before zookeepers were forced to allow a reunion. The turning point was when Changmao hurt his lamb and the female sheep, attacking them with his massive horns.
"It scared us," zookeeper Li said. "And Chunzi has been trying to lick Long Hair through the fence."
In the end, the Yunnan Wild Animal Park decided to let Changmao and Chunzi "live happily ever after."
Changmao's lamb will grow up fatherless.