After being his rescued from an abusive situation, a bear fell in love with the first bear he laid eyes on.
Riku was 2 months old and shackled to the wall of a windowless shed in an Albania village when he was found by officials with FOUR PAWS Animal Rescue. He was clearly in distress and trying to free himself.
The bear was rescued and transported to the Dancing Bears Animal Rescue Park in Bulgaria for urgent rehabilitation. Riku had to be rehabilitated alone since he wasn't large enough to be introduced to older bears.
Just over a year later, after several months of touching noses through the fence between their separate enclosures, Riku was introduced to Gabriela, a 22-year-old three-pawed bear that had been rescued from the Bulgarian circus.
“It can be very nerve-racking introducing two bears for the first time, but Riku’s and Gabriela’s meeting was magical," Dancing Bears Animal Rescue Park spokeswoman Jeta Lepaja said.
Once acquainted, the pair has reportedly "not stopped playing with each other," and has struck up a romantic relationship.
“They never stopped touching one another or playing together — they were and are totally inseparable,” Lepaja said. “If one of them wanted to swim in the pond, the other would follow; if one of them ate their meal, the other would do the same."
The bears will soon be moved to a larger enclosure together.