BEIJING — Staff at a wildlife park in southwest China have turned to the country's half a billion web users for advice after a male sheep and a female deer began mating -- and soon became inseparable.
A posting on the park's microblog posed the question: "What do you do when a ram falls in love with a deer?" It asked readers whether they agreed it would be "unethical" to let the unusual pairing continue.
"They do not want to be separated but it is unethical to let them go on," said the posting, addressed to users of China's hugely popular weibos -- microblogging services similar to Twitter that have taken the country by storm.
The romantic liaison hit headlines this week after a local television station in the southwestern province of Yunnan picked up on the story, reporting that attempts to separate the pair had been unsuccessful.
The ram -- whose Chinese name Changmao means Long Hair -- had "completely integrated himself into deer society" after being placed in a pen with the animals, the Global Times daily reported.
"The sheep and the deer have been in love with each other since last year," Li Li, a park keeper, told the China Daily, which said the pair would now be allowed to stay together.