A Chinese family has been forced to give up its pet dog after realizing that they had actually adopted a black bear.
The family living near Kunming in Yunnan province – assumed what they thought was a Tibetan mastiff dog on vacation in 2016 reported Independent .
The fact is that they had taken home a threatened Asian Black Bear cub, which has now been taken care of by a local animal shelter.
Owner Su Mou told China News Service that the family became suspicious when "Little Black" did not stop growing, consuming a box of fruit and two buckets of noodles every day. On this diet he grew to be more than 3 meters tall and weighs about 250 pounds.
Black bears are known to stand on their hind legs, a feature less common in dogs. Combined with their pet's unthinkable appetite and increasingly strange appearance, the family realized its mistake. "The more he grew, the more like a bear he looked," explained the neighbor Sun Yun.
Although Su acknowledged that she was afraid of her overgrown pet, she told local media that she was afraid of what would happen if it was released. Fortunately, the family realized that it was illegal to keep such an animal and reach out to the local authorities for help.
The bear – which officials said seems to be healthy now by the Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Center. The staff decided to calm the animal before they were transported.
Asian black bears are a protected species in China and considered to be "vulnerable" by the International Trade Union Conservation Organization (IUCN). The bears are hunted for their body parts used in traditional Asian medicine, especially gallbladder for the bile inside.
Legal "bear farms" have even been established to harvest bugs from caught black bears. The IUCN says that nearly 70 such farms in China are believed to have more than 17,000 bears. All international trade in bugs taken from black bears was illegally made by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
This is not the first time a black bear has missed a puppy. In 2015, a farmer in Yunnan rescued what he thought was an abandoned dog from nearby forests. After understanding his mistake, the farmer kept the bear name "Scorpion" – in a cage on his property. Local authorities were eventually notified and the bear was taken care of by environmentalists.