In Southwest China, a family welcomed what they thought was a 250-pound pet Tibetan Mastiff into their home. But as the dog continued to grow, it became clear that something was amiss.
The Transformation from Dog to Bear
As the Tibetan Mastiff grew larger and more bear-like, the family became increasingly concerned. Eventually, they decided to call officials to investigate. What they found out was shocking – the animal in their home was not a dog at all, but an endangered Asiatic black bear.
A Grim History of Bear Bile Farming
The Asiatic black bear is often used for its bile, which contains a chemical called ursodeoxycholic acid that is used in traditional Chinese medicine. Unfortunately, this often involves keeping bears in inhumane conditions and painfully extracting bile while the bears are still alive. This cruel practice is still legal in China, but there is hope for the bears as more and more people urge the government to ban the practice.
Not the First Time a Bear Was Mistaken for a Dog
Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time that a bear cub has been mistaken for a puppy. In fact, a man from the same province raised a bear after finding it in the forest, believing it to be a stray dog. And in another strange case, a woman who thought she had bought a Japanese Spitz puppy later discovered that it was actually a fox.
Pet dog raised by family for two years turns out to be a black bear https://t.co/AVHRdXgDqW pic.twitter.com/kuhMpGC8wy
— The Independent (@Independent) May 14, 2018
A Happy Ending for the Bear
Thankfully, this Asiatic black bear has been taken into care at the Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Center. Officials say that they believe the bear is healthy and are hopeful that it will be able to recover from its ordeal.