China: Pet puppy turns out to be endangered bear
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A family who took in a ‘dog’ they had brought home from a holiday were astonished to discover after two years it is actually a rare bear. When Su Yun brought the animal to her house it was puppy size and she and her family believed it was a Tibetan mastiff.
That breed of dog can weigh up to 150 pounds so the family wasn’t too concerned at first.
But they became suspicious when it kept growing and eventually weighed in at more than 250 pounds.
And they knew something was definitely up when it began walking on its hind legs.
Ms Yun, who lives in a village near the city of Kunming in Yunnan province, China, told Chinese media she was surprised by how much the dog ate: “[It ate] a box of fruits and two buckets of noodles every day.”
She added: “The more he grew, the more like a bear he looked.
“I am a little scared of bears.”
The family got in touch with the Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Centre requesting help and the bear is now in the centre’s hands.
Footage taken by officials shows it standing about a metre tall.
Mirror Online reports that staff were so intimidated by the animal that they sedated it before transportation for its journey.
After arriving at the rescue centre in 2018 it was identified as an endangered Asiatic Black Bear.
These types of bears fetch thousands of pounds if sold on the black market, despite the family being sold it as a Tibetan Mastiff.
This strange case wasn’t the first time that year that a bear had been raised as a pet in China.
A few months earlier, a man from the same province thought he had found a stray dog in the forest but it turned out he was actually raising a bear. He kept it in a cage.
And another woman from China could not believe it when she discovered her pet Japanese Spitz dog was actually a domesticated fox.
The woman, identified as Ms Wang by Chinese media, thought she bought a puppy from a pet shop.
She raised the small animal for months and began to think something was up after noticing that it never barked and sometimes refused to eat dog food.
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Speaking to a Chinese media outlet, she said: “The fur got thicker when it reached three months old.
“Its face became pointy and its tail grew longer than that of a normal dog.
“Other pet dogs seemed to be scared by my pet so I walked it with a leash.”
She took it to Taiyuan Zoo for advice and animal epidemic prevention expert Sun Letian confirmed it is a fox.
He said: “Based on the size, it is a domesticated fox.
“It carries a smell in their body and the smell can get stronger as it grows older.”
Ms Wang said she decided to give her pet to the zoo so it could get a more suitable diet and “better living environment”.
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