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Stranger than Fiction: 2-Year-Old Family Dog Is Actually a Bear

Imagine adopting an adorable puppy, giving it a loving home for two years then realizing your beloved pet is more ursine than canine.

When Su Yun and her family were on vacation, they thought they were buying a Tibetan mastiff puppy. However, it turns out they purchased a bear cub. 

At first, the family, who hail from China’s Kunming in Yunnan province, didn’t think anything of it. Tibetan mastiffs can weigh over 150 pounds, so it wasn’t a huge surprise when their “puppy” grew to be on the larger side. 

According to reporting by Express the family fed their pet “a box of fruits and two buckets of noodles” every day. As the animal grew and matured, it stopped looking quite so dog-like.

Tibetan mastiffs. Image by Viktorija Jermolajeva/EyeEm

By the second year, the “puppy” weighed over 250 pounds and started walking on its hind legs. That’s when family began to suspect that something was amiss, reports Express.

It may seem silly that it took so long to figure out that the dog wasn’t a dog at all, but Tibetan mastiffs can typically reach large sizes. They also have a strong resemblance to black bears, as this unsuspecting family learned the hard way. 

Thankfully, the Yuns did the right thing and contacted the Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Center. The “dog” was quickly identified as an Asiatic black bear. The center agreed to take in this animal. 

Asiatic Black Bear. Image by Arun Roisri/Getty

Although it’s not unusual for exotic animals to be sold on the black market in China, including bears, it’s not exactly the kind of pet you want to bring home. Luckily, no one, human or animal, was hurt, though the bear was deemed too large to be transported without sedation.

What happened to the Yuns may be funny to some, but raising wild animals is no joke. It’s important to understand the risks involved in owning exotic pets, which may not end up being as docile as this dog-bear.

The Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Center urges people to report any suspected instances of animal trafficking and to avoid purchasing exotic animals altogether. 

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  1. Deanna Payne

    This is a sad story for the bear and the family that gave him up,I am sure that there was love there.
    Good luck big bear

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