There is more canine confusion in China. Just a few days after news broke that a woman found out her puppy bought from a Chinese pet store last year is actually a fox, another pet owner has come to a similar conclusion. According to The Independent, two years ago, Su Yun, from Kunming in the Yunnan province of China, bought a puppy on vacation, believing it to be a Tibetan Mastiff, and brought the animal home.
From day one, Yun and her family were impressed by their pet’s massive appetite. The “dog” reportedly chowed down on a box of fruit and two buckets of noodles every day. But it wasn’t until the pet reached 250 pounds and started walking around on its hind legs that they realized there was a mistake.
This “dog” is actually an Asiatic black bear. The Chinese family has been forced to give up their pet dog after realizing they had actually adopted a black bear. The family, who lives near the city of Kunming in Yunnan province, adopted what they thought was a Tibetan mastiff puppy while on holiday in 2016, the Independent reported.
In fact, they had brought home an endangered Asiatic black bear cub, which has been taken into care by a local animal sanctuary.
Owner Su Mou told the China News Service that the family became suspicious when “Little Black” did not stop growing, devouring a box of fruit and two buckets of noodles every day. On that diet, he grew to be more than 3 feet tall and weighed around 250 pounds.
Black bears are known to stand on their hind legs, a trait less common in dogs. That, along with their pet’s insatiable appetite and increasingly strange appearance, made the family realized their mistake. “The more he grew, the more like a bear he looked,” explained neighbor Sun Yun.
Though Su admitted she was scared of her overgrown pet, she told local media she was also afraid of what would happen if it was released. Luckily, the family realized that keeping such an animal was illegal and reached out to local authorities for help.
The bear, which officials said appears to be healthy, is being looked after by the Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Center. Staff decided to sedate the animal before transporting it.
Asiatic black bears are a protected species in China and are considered “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The bears are hunted for their body parts, which are used in traditional Asian medicine, especially their gall bladders, for the bile within. Legal “bear farms” have even been established to harvest bile from captive black bears.
According to the IUCN, nearly 70 such farms in China are believed to hold more than 17,000 bears. All international trade in bile taken from black bears was made illegal by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.