(Source)

A young bear cub and a cat have turned heads at a sanctuary after the two formed an unlikely bond — but even the bear cub’s birth was a surprising event.

Her mother, Gallamair, and father, Kaka, both came to the sanctuary as cubs about six years ago. The Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) rescue center usually rehabilitates and releases animals back into the wild, but these two became permanent residents since they were unable to live on their own in the wild. During their time together, they found a bit of romance.

Since WFFT takes a strong stance against the breeding of captive wildlife, the group decided to perform a vasectomy on Kaka. As WFFT wrote in a recent post to Facebook, “Unfortunately, it appears that the operation was not successful.”

The cub’s name is Ka Wao. Here she is with her mother.

Wildlife Friends Foundation ThailandKaka has been separated from Ka Wao and Gallamair in order to replicate the mother-child bond that forms naturally among sun bears in the wild, independent of the father.

In the short time she’s been alive, Ka Wao has already displayed a sense of curiosity and playfulness. She’s even made a new friend in George, one of the resident pet cats at WFFT.

Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand“She is a confident little cub and loves to explore her enclosure mostly followed closely by her ever devoted mother,” WFFT wrote in a Facebook post.

Wildlife Friends Foundation ThailandIt may seem unusual, but the bear is following in her mother’s footsteps. “Gallamair often befriends cats, so her cub is copying this,” a representative of WFFT told The Dodo. “They seem to get along very well and spend lots of time together. All three of them often sit down and eat together.”

George must appreciate the occasional bear hug.

Wildlife Friends Foundation ThailandAlthough Ka Wao’s birth surprised the caretakers at WFFT, it was a happy accident, and with the illegal wildlife trade as rampant as it is in Thailand, the sanctuary will be able to protect her from the same threats which placed her parents in its hands six years ago.

But Ka Wao doesn’t think about any of that.

Wildlife Friends Foundation ThailandTo her, life is still a barrel of laughs and filled with new days to explore, and that’s just the way it should be for a young cub.

Wildlife Friends Foundation ThailandVisit Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand to learn more about its efforts to rescue, rehabilitate and release a wide variety of animals including sun bears, monkeys, wild cats and more.