For some reason, a family in southwest China thought that a 250-pound (110-kilogram) walking on hind legs dog was something plausible. But after two years, the family started to have questions regarding their unlikely pet and found out it wasn’t a pet but wildlife.
When Su Yun was on vacation and had her Tibetan mastiff with her, she started to notice weird behavior that she couldn’t explain. It was in her home in the Chinese village in Yunnan Province, China, where she was surprised to see her dog ate every day two buckets of noodles and tons of fruits.
Yun started to question whether it was normal for a dog to eat so much, knowing that the Tibetan mastiff breed reaches around 180 pounds (82 kilograms).
With time, the little Tibetan mastiff grew in size and personality, and the more he grew, he looked more like a bear rather than a canine. Knowing that Tibetan mastiffs get only 28 inches (71 centimeters) tall, something inside told her that it was unusual.
She decided to contact officials, and once they came for help, she learned her beloved pet wasn’t a dog, not even a canine. They told Yun the “dog” she lived with for two years was actually an endangered Asiatic Black bear.
Here’s the endangered “pet”:
Both Yun and officials were shocked. The officials saw an animal that seemed to be a bear at first sight and a confused dog owner who turned out to be a bear owner. And although the bear was kept as an indoor pet, officials reportedly were scared to transport it, so they had to sedate the animal.
The endangered animal, Ursus thibetanus, is sold on the black market, usually for medicine and food, and at times worth more than gold. It is so valuable because there’s a chemical found in its bile that is used to treat all sorts of diseases.
Unfortunately, bear bile farming is legal in China, although the bears are often kept in unsatisfactory and inhuman living conditions. Moreover, lots of bears have to go the torturing bile extraction while they are still alive.
Animal lovers urge the government to restrict the abusing practice.
Surprisingly, this case isn’t the first one, bear cubs have been mistaken for puppies before.
The bear was taken to Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Center, which takes care of him and gives him the attention he needs.