Puppies are always incredibly cute and they are often much more cute than the dogs they grow into. Which isn’t to say that we don’t like them all the same, but is simply indicative of how much puppies can change physically as they grow up. Even with that in mind, however, it’s hard to imagine what it’d be like to get a bear cub and to mistake it for a puppy. Yet, this is exactly what a Chinese woman did when she purchased a bear instead of a dog
The woman says she bought a Tibetan Mastiff puppy on holiday two years ago. She named him ‘Little Black’ and he grew fast – really fast. The dog/bear kept growing until he became a 200 kg and it turned out that he’s actually an endangered Asiatic Black Bear. Because of his endagered status, Little Black had to be taken into an animal sanctuary.
“It was a tiny mastiff puppy, and when I brought him home, he continued to be one. But the more he grew, the more like a bear he looked. I am a little scared of bears,” Su Yun, a villager in Yuliang country in the southwestern Yunnan province, told the China News Network.
Even though she realized she had been sold a non-dog, Su has been feeding the animal for two years.
She pointed out that Little Black is very sensitive and is afraid of being alone. Additionally and unsurprisingly, feeding a bear turned out to be quite the enterprise. Little Black ate a box of fruit and two full buckets of noodles every day. Still, Su was happy with her ever-hungry friend until she saw a leaflet that informed her that it’s illegal to keep a protected wild animal at home.
Immediately after that, Su contacted the Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Center. Little Black was sedated transported to his new home. There, vets found that the now grown bear was completely healthy and had not been maltreated in any way. Thanks to that, the authorities will not be punishing Su for her poor animal identification skills.
And while this is definitely a feelgood story in which neither bears nor dogs were harmed, there are a lot of other similar instances. It’s not uncommon for naive owners to tell animal welfare inspectors that the illegal animal they have had at home was actually just a careless purchase. This phenomenon has even become something of a trope in the Chinese media.