Look closely — no, your eyes are not deceiving you.
It’s not a Shetland pony nuzzling up to the Connemara, it is, in fact, a young bear.
Bears are native to British Columbia, Canada, where this picture was taken — but it still took the pony’s owner, Ruth Moore by surprise.
Mrs Moore has owned her seven-year-old 14.1hh gelding, Jack Frost, for nearly a year. These extraordinary scenes were spotted by a neighbour, who took the photos while she was out.
Mrs Moore told H&H: “This is an unusual encounter as horses do not like the smell of bears and gallop off to a safe place.
“Jack is a very inquisitive pony. He’s very laid back and I guess he just wanted to be friends!”
Although bears are a common sight in the hills near Mrs Moore’s town of Lavington, they rarely venture down into the paddocks.
“Deer often pass through our property, eating our veggies and flowers and coyotes travel by as well,” she said.
“Bears occasionally pass through, though they mainly stay near the orchards when the fruit is ripening.”
Jack’s new friend is a cinnamon bear, thought to be around a year old.
Mrs Moore explains: ”The cinnamon bear is a colour phase of the black bear that is native to Colorado, New Mexico, Washington, Wyoming and Western Canada.”
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