5 min read

Bear Sees His Mate From Years Ago And Immediately Recognizes Her

"Instantly, the two old friends reconnected! Playing, climbing, running together!"

Kaka has never really had the normal life of a Malayan sun bear

When he was just a baby, he was stolen from the wild forests of Laos by people who wanted to sell him on the black market as a pet. 

But the men became afraid they'd be caught by the police so they dumped Kaka at a Buddhist temple, where monks raised him alongside several dogs.

Sun bear stolen from the wild by poachers
WFFT

By the time Kaka was 1 year old, he seemed to have forgotten that he was a bear at all. When rescuers from Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) arrived to rescue him and take him to their sanctuary, Kaka was barking like a dog. 

That's why forming friendships with other sun bears has been so important to Kaka's sense of self.

Sun bear meets friend
Kaka meeting a new friend, Gallamair, at the WFFT sanctuary in 2009 soon after his rescue | WFFT

"Kaka calmed down when he was introduced to Gallamair, a 2-year-old female sun bear," WFFT wrote. "Gallamair and Kaka became instant friends."

The two rescued bears were each other's constant companion for six years. But then something very unexpected happened.

Even though Kaka had been sterilized by the sanctuary to prevent captive breeding, suddenly Gallamair became pregnant. "Unfortunately it appears that the operation was not successful," WFFT wrote.

Gallamair gave birth to a cub, Kaka's baby. And because mother sun bears in the wild raise cubs on their own, the sanctuary realized that it would be in Gallamair's best interest to give her and her cub some time and space. Kaka moved to another habitat at the sanctuary.

Three years passed before Kaka and Gallamair saw each other again. Finally, last month, they were reintroduced — and their connection was quite obviously stronger than ever.

Sun bears reunite at sanctuary in Thailand
WFFT

"We did not do this until we were sure that Ka Wow, her daughter, would have a new friend who was a rescued young bear of approximately the same age," Tom Taylor, wildlife rescue center and elephant refuge manager for WFFT, told The Dodo. "After spending their first few years of their lives together as very young cubs it was great to be able to allow them to become best friends again." 

Sun bears reunite at sanctuary in Thailand
WFFT
Sun bear friends reuniting at Thai sanctuary
WFFT

Photos capture the emotional moments when Kaka and Gallamair came together again. They took a few moments to sniff each other. And then it seemed the friends picked up right where they left off. 

Sun bears reunite at sanctuary
WFFT
Sun bears reunite at sanctuary in Thailand
WFFT
Sun bears reunite at sanctuary in Thailand
WFFT

"Instantly, the two old friends reconnected! Playing, climbing, running together!" WFFT wrote. 

Sun bears reunite at sanctuary in Thailand
WFFT

Kaka and Gallamair aren't the only individuals rejoicing about their reunion. Followers of WFFT on Facebook were so pleased to see the bears side by side again. 

"I used to watch these bears play as cubs," one commenter wrote. "They are beautiful."

Sun bears reunite at sanctuary in Thailand
WFFT
To help WFFT care for these best friends and for all the other animals it saves from abuse and exploitation, you can make a donation.