A Chinese family living in Yunnan province raised a Tibetan mastiff they found while on vacation for two years. The pet weighed over 250 pounds and could walk on its hind legs. However, their fur baby had an insatiable appetite and would eat a "box of fruit and two buckets of noodles" a day, according to The Independent. That's when the family suspected something wasn't quite right.
Su Yun, the woman who found the dog, wondered if her pet wasn't a Tibetan mastiff after all. Mastiffs can grow very large, reaching 71 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds, but her pup had already exceeded the average size for the breed.
She told Chinese media, "The more he grew, the more like a bear he looked. I am a little scared of bears." Since he bore a startling resemblance to a bear, Su decided to have him examined by officials. Chinese officials confirmed her suspicions. The animal she had been raising was indeed an Asiatic black bear, which is an endangered species.
The bears fetch a high price on the black market, producing a profit of thousands of dollars. The bears were used in Asian traditional medicine and foods, which led to their endangered status. Ursodeoxycholic acid, the bile in their stomach, treats liver disease and other medical issues.
Asiatic black bears are not as docile as their North American cousins. While black bears are generally docile and skittish, Asiatic black bears are territorial and aggressive, especially when protecting their young, as one hiker found out firsthand. As the hiker learned, most people want to avoid these bears at all costs.
Even though this bear was raised from a cub in a family, a wildlife rescue center's staff was so afraid of him that he needed to be sedated before transport. The bear is now living at the Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Center, where he can live out his days in the appropriate habitat.
READ MORE: How to Identify Black Bear, Grizzly Scat
Enjoy the outdoors?
Don't miss a story! Sign up for daily stories delivered to your inbox.