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Family Raised 250-Pound “Dog” For Two Years Before Learning The Truth

Written by: Molly Weinfurter
Molly Weinfurter is a writer for iHeartDogs, and she’s passionate about helping animals in need. She volunteers for Bailing Out Benji and a local dog rescue.Read more
| Published on March 2, 2023

Very few people have to question whether their dog is actually a dog or not. If the place they got them from said they’re a dog, then why believe anything else? Well, a family in China had a pretty good reason to doubt their pet’s species because their dog turned out to be an endangered bear.

The family bought their puppy thinking he was a Tibetan Mastiff, one of the largest dog breeds. However, when their puppy began to eat insane amounts of food and walk on two legs, they knew something was up. Yet, they cared for their “dog” for two years!

Tibetan Mastiff close-up
Wikimedia Commons

Tricked into Buying a Bear

Tibetan Mastiffs are huge, fluffy dogs that can reach up to 150 pounds. So, at first, Su Yun didn’t think there was anything unusual when she bought a puppy of that breed. However, the rapidly-growing pup had no interest in dog food and would instead gobble up a whole box of fruit and two buckets of noodles daily.

The puppy didn’t stop growing even when he was expected to. Soon, he weighed about 250 pounds, and he began to look less like his breed should. The family didn’t realize what was going on until their “dog” started walking on two legs.

“The more he grew, the more like a bear he looked,” said Su Yun. “I am a little scared of bears.”

Bear mistaken for dog

Bear Moves to More Suitable Environment

The family kept the large mammal for two years before they knew they had to seek help. So, Su Yun contacted authorities to inform them of the situation, and they confirmed that the family’s Tibetan Mastiff wasn’t a dog at all. Instead, he was an Asiatic black bear, which is an endangered species.

Asiatic black bears sell for a lot of money on the black market, so it’s surprising that anyone would sell them as a dog. Su Yun’s family probably bought the unusual creature because they thought they were getting a good deal on a Tibetan Mastiff, which is an expensive breed.

RELATED: Couple Rescues Tiny Coyote They Mistook For An Orphaned Puppy

Officials had to sedate the bear before removing him from the family’s home because they were scared of transporting him. They brought the bear to the Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Center so he can be properly cared for from now on.

Asiatic black bear in the wild
Wikimedia Commons

That bear was part of the family for two years, so this is likely a difficult situation for Su Yun and her family. But the bear is in a place where he will thrive and be well cared for now, so it’s what’s best for everyone involved.

Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons and Wikimedia Commons