HomeOutdoorsNewsFamily Raises Bear For Two Years Thinking It’s a Dog

Family Raises Bear For Two Years Thinking It’s a Dog

by Jon D. B.
Asiatic black bear Tibetan Mastiff
Asiatic black bear plays in a pond. (Photo by Jie Zhao/Corbis via Getty Images) A Tibetan Mastiff is displayed during the Tibetan Mastiff exposition. (Photo by China Photos/Getty Images)

Every once in a while, a story so ridiculous appears that you have no choice but to share it with the world. Enter this family and their bear.

It’s a near unfathomable mistake to make here in the U.S. For one, strict wildlife laws prevent the public selling of wild animals and prevent captures for profit at large. Both still exist, of course (we’re looking at you, Florida). But the chances of an American family being told they’re receiving a puppy, then receiving a bear cub instead, are pretty much non-existent.

Yet that’s exactly what happened to Su Yun and her family. Originally from the city of Kunming in Yunnan province, China, Yun believed she was purchasing a Tibetan mastiff from a dog breeder while on vacation. She was wrong.

When Yun brought the “dog” back to her home, it was, at least, the proper size for a mastiff puppy. Tibetan mastiffs can reach 150+ pounds, too, so as the little furball grew to astonishing size in the first year, they didn’t really question it.

By year two, however, their “puppy” weighed over 250 pounds, Express translates from Chinese media. Which could’ve meant they had an exceptionally rare mastiff – until their pet stood up on its hind legs and began walking.

‘A box of fruits and two buckets of noodles every day’ – That’s a Bear Diet, Folks

“A box of fruits and two buckets of noodles every day” is how much their “pet” ate, Mrs. Yun revealed. And “the more he grew, the more like a bear he looked.”

Asiatic black bear. (Photo by DEA / C.DANI / I.JESKE/De Agostini via Getty Images)

It’s natural to think the Yuns were a little (or a lot) slow to their realization. But Tibetan mastiffs were bred specifically to reach bear-like size, and even hold a strong resemblance to Asia’s black bears in their long coats and black, brown-collared appearance.

Once the family caught on, they called the Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Center regardless. Help was requested right away.

“I am a little scared of bears,” Yun said at the time. And rightfully so. As wildlife officials arrived, footage of her “pet” was taken, and it reportedly stood a full meter (3 feet) on all fours; not uncommon for the species the Yuns had taken in: an Asiatic black bear.

Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Center correctly identified the bruin after taking it in. But the hungry beast was so large the staff opted to tranquilize it for all transportation.

Unfortunately, Asiatic black bears are sold for the equivalent of thousands of U.S. dollars on the Chinese black market. Sometimes, they’re sold as-is. And as the Yuns learned, they’re also passed off as exotic dog species to unsuspecting customers. Another Chinese citizen had reportedly raised a “stray dog” that he found in the forest by his home just months prior – only to find out it was also, in fact, a bear.

Luckily, no one was injured by the bruins, considering how aggressive Asia’s bear species can be.