A Chinese family ended up being compelled to surrender their four-legged pet after discovering they had adopted a black bear.
The family, who reside close to Kunming in Yunnan province, adopted what they assumed was a Tibetan mastiff puppy while on vacation in 2016, the Independent Newspaper reported.
Instead, they had carried home an endangered Asiatic black bear cub, which has been taken into a care facility by a local animal shelter.
Pet owner Su Mou informed the China News Broadcast Service that the family got wary as soon as “Little Black” failed to stop growing, consuming daily a carton of fruit and two buckets of noodles. He grew beyond 3 feet in height and weighed around 250 pounds.
Unlike dogs, bears tend to stand on their hind legs. That in conjunction with their pet’s insatiable desire for food and increasingly bizarre physique, made the family notice their mistake. “The more he developed, the more similar to a bear he looked,” explained neighbour Sun Yun.
Su confessed to the local media that she was terrified of her overgrown animal and scared of what would probably transpire if it was noticed. Fortunately, the family learned that retaining such an animal was against the law and approached the local authorities for assistance.
The bear, which authorities confirmed to be in good shape, continues to be taken care of by the Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Centre. Personnel decided to sedate the bear before transporting. Asiatic black bears are a protected species in China.
It is not the first time a black bear has been confused for a puppy. In 2015, a farmer in Yunnan rescued from a nearby wood what he mistook to be an abandoned dog.
After noticing his blunder, the farmer kept the bear, named Scorpion, in a cage on his property. Scorpion was taken into care of environmental officials after the authorities were informed.