Bear Manager Ryan Marcel said:
"It was back in 2007 that Pinetree was first observed following Peanut around the enclosure. Peanut, a juvenile at the time, was also very interested in Pinetree.
"We noticed the two getting closer over the months. Pinetree tried to keep other bears away from Peanut – even though he was naturally a very friendly bear. Soon they were seen sleeping in the same basket occasionally, and spending entire days together.
"For his part, whenever another bear bothered Pinetree, Peanut would run over and protect her. Peanut would literally 'hug' any bear annoying Pinetree until they walked away.
"The two were as close as any bears at the sanctuary – like brother and sister, mother and son."
Photo: Animals Asia