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Ram, deer have 'fallen in love' at Chinese Zoo

A ram named Changmao has formed a bond with a female deer named Chunzi at the Yunnan Wild Animal in China.

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They are "crazy in love." People have been "riveted" by their "love story." Who are these star-crossed lovers who burn for each other? They are a ram and a doe.

The story of Changmao the ram and Chunzi the deer, who have shown an unusual attraction to one another, has drawn the sort of attention usually reserved for gay penguins.

Last month, the Chinese zoo where the animals live posted pictures of them on a microblogging site and asked, "What does one do when a ram falls in love with a deer?"

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The post went on to say the animals "have not only fallen in love at the Yunnan Zoo, they've also begun cohabitating! Separating them would go against their wishes, but allowing them to continue would be 'immoral.' We are wondering what to do with this ram-deer relationship."

Thousands of people weighed in. One person told China Daily, "When I first learned the news, I thought this might be a joke. But when I saw these photos, the love in their eyes touched my heart."

The zoo separated the animals when the ram fathered a baby sheep, thinking that the baby needed to be cared for by both parents. The act triggered all sorts of Disney-level adorableness, with the deer was trying to lick the sheep through the fence.

The animals have since been reunited, and the zoo has promised they will remain together. Which apparently makes us all go, "Awwwwwwwwww."

But why?

Why is it that we go all mushy over bonds like this in the animal kingdom and impose on them notions of love?

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About the Author

Dave McGinn writes about fitness trends for the Life section and also reports for Globe Arts. Prior to joining the Globe, he was a freelance journalist, covering topics from trying to eat Michael Phelps' diet to why the Joker is the best villain in comics history. He's working on improving his 10k time. More

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