February 15, 2011 03:55 PM

For Bing and Bessie, it was love at first sight. Abandoned at a farm when they were just 1 year old, they were rescued and taken to New York’s Farm Sanctuary, where they’ve lived for the past 24 years. But this isn’t your typical tale of romance: Bing and Bessie are geese.

The pair, one of many animal “couples” at Farm Sanctuary, are the “best relationship that I can actually think of here,” director Susie Coston tells PEOPLEPets.com. “If she can’t see him or he can’t see her, they call for each other. It’s really amazing.”

When Bing and Bessie first arrived, they lived with the organization’s main flock of about 30 geese, interacting with others but remaining very much a couple. In recent years, however, other geese began to pick on Bessie, and staffers couldn’t figure out why. The situation came to a head one day when Bing was defending his love and suffered an injury to his bill. As it turned out, Bessie was suffering from arthritis. Recognizing that she was weak and unable to defend herself, her beau stepped up to the plate.

“He knows that she has slowed down, and he’s more protective,” Coston says. “He’s constantly blocking her, and if they’re even a few feet apart, he’s honking really, really loudly, making a big fuss and flapping his wings, just so he’s able to get ahold of her.”

In diagnosing Bessie’s arthritis, Farm Sanctuary staffers realized she had heart disease, too. But it hasn’t affected the cute couple, who now live comfortably in an area with special-needs ducks. “I think it really speaks volumes to how deep their personalities go,” Coston says. “They are so much more like us than we choose to believe. Their very existence is based on each other. To watch it is one of the most touching things you’ll ever see.”

Read more about Farm Sanctuary on PEOPLEPets.com:
Rescued Piglet Finds New Home at Farm Sanctuary
Spotted: Singer Colbie Caillat Cuddles a Cow

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