A lot of people are tricked into buying a dog only to learn that it’s not the breed they expected. By the time they find out, they are already attached to it and end up keeping it anyway. That’s what happened to the Yun family, who purchased what they thought was a Tibetan mastiff puppy from a breeder in China.
She noticed that the dog seemed to have a strange appetite but didn’t think much of it.
As he got bigger, she felt something wasn’t right, but she wasn’t sure what kind of dog she had bought. She explained:
“It would eat a box of fruits and two buckets of noodles every day. The more he grew, the more like a bear he looked. I am a little scared of bears.”
As it turns out, it was a bear.
The family had been tricked into thinking they were buying a puppy, but they were really buying a bear cub. They had owned the bear for two years when they realized it was a bear and not a dog. By this time, they were attached to it, but they also knew that they couldn’t keep it.
One of the family members said:
“It has already become part of the family, but we know that it is a wild animal and it should return to nature. Before, we were worried that it might not be able to adapt to the wild environment and survive, so we decided to hand it over to the forest police.”
So, how did the family go so long without knowing they had a bear instead of a dog?
Tibetan mastiffs are large dogs with long hair, but they are clearly dogs. There’s a big difference between a dog and a bear.
According to Bears of The World:
“Asiatic black bears are considered to be ‘medium’ sized bears with bodies ranging from 50 to 77 inches in length and weight variation of 220 to 440 pounds. Females are smaller, weighing from 110 to 275 pounds. They have jet black fur with a thick mane-like ruff around their neck. In addition to the yellow moon on their chest, they have a brown or tan muzzle and a whitish chin. Their ears are fairly large and are set rather far apart. Their claws are short and strong for climbing trees.”
That description is pretty different from that of the Tibetan mastiff, which the family thought the bear was for two years.
According to the AKC:
“Tibetan Mastiffs can stand 26 inches at the shoulder and weigh well over 100 pounds. It’s impossible to discuss this breed without leaning on words like ‘powerful,’ ‘muscular,’ ‘massive,’ and ‘substantial.’ And yet, TMs are quite light-footed and will meet a perceived threat with surprising agility. The broad head, with its high-set, V-shaped ears and expressive brown eyes, projects a noble, sagacious expression.”
Unbelievably, stranger things have happened.
There have been reports of people adopting dogs that turned out to be foxes and even adopting large rats, thinking they are dogs living on the streets. Imagine the embarrassment these people felt when they realize their best friends were wild animals.
If you adopted the wrong animal and were attached to it, would you be able to give it up? What it if turned out the be an animal that was illegal to own in your city? Would you move for it? How far will a pet owner go to keep his or her animal?
This family ended up taking their bear to the Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Centre, where he will be safe and get all the care he needs.
They may even be allowed to go visit him if they choose. They may have been sad to see him go, but it was for the best. The next time this family goes shopping for a pet, hopefully, they do a little more research and actually get the right kind.
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