It’s not every day you see a 200 kg dog walking on hind legs. For one family in southwest China, however, that’s exactly what their Tibetan mastiff started doing, sparking some serious questions.
Two years ago on a holiday, a Chinese woman bought what she believed to be a Tibetan Mastiff puppy, a breed that typically reaches around 82 kilograms (180 pounds) and stands 71 centimeters (28 inches) tall. The puppy had a voracious appetite eating a box of fruits and two buckets of noodles every day. ‘Little Black’ grew fast and never stopped.
“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 local reporters.
The family realized their possible error when the pet did not stop growing and started showing a talent for walking on two legs. So Yun called officials and found out her pet wasn’t really a dog or any member of the canine family for that matter. In fact, it was an endangered Asiatic black bear.
Footage by officials shows the bear standing almost a meter (3 feet) tall with some very bear-like features. Even though the bear was kept as a household pet with the Yun family, staff were reportedly so intimidated by the animal they sedated it before transporting it.
Any embarrassment the family felt may have been mitigated by the fact that they are not the first among their neighbors to mistake the ursine for the canine when on the lookout for a family pet. Reportedly, a man from the same province raised a bear after finding it in the forest believing it to be a stray dog.
Little Black has now been taken into care at the Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Center. Officials say they believe the bear is healthy.