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Ram-Deer Love Story Rivets China's Netizens

A ram named Changmao who has formed an inseparable bond with a female deer named Chunzi, spend time together at the Yunnan Wild Animal Park in Kunming, Yunnan Province, December 2, 2011

Staffers at a wildlife park in southwestern China are asking the country's nearly half-billion Internet users what should be done about a deer and a ram whose amorous pairing has set the Chinese cyberworld atwitter.

A post this week on the website of the Yunnan Wild Animal Park asks, "What do you do when a ram falls in love with a deer?" and solicits comments from the public. The posting also questions whether a sheep-deer mating is "ethical."

China's Global Times newspaper says a ram named Changmao, or Long Hair, has completely integrated himself into deer society and has won the heart of a doe named Chunzi. The newspaper says the couple does not want to be separated. Another account from China Daily quotes a park worker as saying the animals have been "in love" since last year and spend a lot of time together.

Since workers at the wildlife park say a deer and a sheep cannot produce any offspring, Global Times asks, "Everyone involved seems to be enjoying it, so why not just let it be?"

Whether or not animals can experience such emotions, the Chinese public seems to support Changmao and Chunzi. However, some comments posted on the English-language website are more reserved. They range from "Everything is messed up..." to "sheep these days have become wolves."

Another reader, referring to an image of the two animals mating, says, "That sheep has the air / manner of a government official." Still another says such photos are "pornographic."

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.