Two years ago, Su Yun and her family purchased what they were told was a Tibetan mastiff puppy on a roadside in China, but what they received was something far wilder and much more dangerous. In reality, the pup was not a pup at all, and what the family had actually invited into their home was an Asiatic black bear cub.
Describing the story in an interview with China News, Ms. Su said that her family brought the (at the time) small animal home after buying him on vacation, treating him like a typical Tibetan mastiff pup. At such a young age, it may have been an easy mistake for someone unfamiliar with dogs to make, since Tibetan mastiffs pups and bear cubs are both fairly large even as youngsters, and a bear cub would likely stick to walking on all fours early on.
But, as the young cub began to mature, his appetite also grew. Soon, Ms. Su began to realize that the cuddly, friendly Tibetan mastiff that she thought she had was looking more and more like a bear with each passing day. “The more he grew, the more like a bear he looked,” she told China News. Ms. Su stated that she is afraid of bears (naturally), and so her fear began to increase along with the hunger of her ravenous pet.
Eventually, the would-be mastiff grew to such a size that the family was feeding him a box of fruit and two buckets of noodles per day. His incredible appetite, coupled with a weight gain of 250 lbs. and a new penchant for strolling around on two legs, finally convinced the family that their pet was absolutely, 100 percent not a Tibetan mastiff, and the time was fast approaching when he would become too much for them to handle.
For the sake of safety, the family had to say goodbye to their beloved pet and call on the authorities to intervene. But when authorities arrived to collect the bear to transport him to sanctuary, they were so cautious about his size that they decided to sedate him before even attempting transport.
Ultimately, it’s probably a good thing that the bear ended up with the family, since the Asiatic black bear is considered an endangered animal, and the value of such a cub on the black market (if the seller had known what the cub actually was) would likely be in the thousands of dollars. Thankfully, instead of falling prey to poachers or the despicable bear bile farms that have become popular in some parts of China, the cub safely arrived at the Yunnan Wildlife Center.
If anything, this story certainly drives home the immense value that dog registries such as CKC provide for potential dog owners. After all, no one wants to buy what they think is a Tibetan mastiff only to come home with Yogi Bear!