When a family went on vacation, they were delighted to find what they were told was a Tibetan Mastiff puppy, which they quickly adopted. However, two years later police had to intervene when their pet grew into “something else.”
A family from the city of Kunming in Yunnan province in China adopted what they thought was a Tibetan mastiff puppy while on holiday. Like most families with a new pet, they initially raised the “puppy,” which they named “Little Black,” inside the house. Soon, however, the beloved pet would have to reside outside.
Owner Su Mou told the China News Service that the family became suspicious when “Little Black” did not stop growing, devouring a box of fruit and two buckets of noodles every day. On that diet, he grew to be more than 3 feet tall and weighed around 200 kilograms (440 lbs). One day, Su Mou noticed Little Black standing on his hind legs at the kitchen counter, she told China News. Still, the family loved Little Black, but at that point moved him to the backyard into a large cage.
The family grew more suspicious as Little Black started standing on his hind legs more often, a trait less common in dogs. That, along with their pet’s insatiable appetite and increasingly strange appearance, made the Mous realize their beloved pet was “something else.”
“At that time, it was said to be a small Tibetan mastiff, and it has been raised as a Tibetan mastiff since I brought it home. Later, it grew bigger and became more like a black bear,” Su Mou said. “Although I was a little afraid of black bears, but after raising it for so many years, I have feelings.”
The family called the “wildlife police” from the Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Centre, who confirmed Little Black was indeed an Asiatic Black Bear weighing roughly 440 lbs, the Daily Mail reported. According to The Independent, “The animal has now been taken into care at the Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Centre after the family got in touch requesting help. Footage taken by officials shows it standing about a meter tall (3 feet). Staff were so intimidated by the animal – which had lived in the family home – they sedated it before transportation.” Thankfully, Little Black had no wounds or scars found on his body. A preliminary checkup report also showed the bear to be in good health.
The Mou family’s embarrassment over being duped may have been mitigated by the fact they are not the first among their neighbors to mistake a baby bear for a canine pup when on the lookout for a family pet. The Independent also reported how a man, also from Yunnan province, had raised a bear after finding it roaming in the forest, initially believing it to be a stray dog. He kept it in a cage.
According to Newsweek, “Asiatic black bears are a protected species in China and are considered ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The bears are hunted for their body parts, which are used in traditional Asian medicine, especially their gallbladders, for the bile within. Legal ‘bear farms’ have even been established to harvest bile from captive black bears.”
Then, there was a couple in California who also got duped into adopting “something else,” their daughter revealed. According to The Mirror, the woman explained that her parents welcomed a new pet into their home after her mom’s German Shepherd named Cops passed away due to illness. “After mourning for a bit, mom and dad decided to get a dog together, as a couple,” the woman said. “So they went to Palo Alto Animal Shelter to adopt. The year was 1987, and at the time, Palo Alto was not a great place.”
The daughter went on to explain what happened next. “Once they got there, and mum explains that she’s always had a preference for big dogs, the guy’s face lights up,” she added. “He said, ‘We have a big dog for experienced owners, adoptable today, we’ll give you a discount even.’ Somehow my parents were not suspicious about this.” After meeting the 100lb animal, they instantly fell in love and signed the paperwork to take her home.
The couple’s new dog, which they named “Mazel Tov,” turned out to be highly intelligent and really adept at catching squirrels. After realizing Mazel was much smarter than any other dog they’d ever cared for, her mom decided to take her to the vet for a routine check-up. It was only at this point that she learned the truth about her rescue dog. “Dr. Hamada walked into the exam room, dropped the clipboard, and said, ‘Where the hell did you get a wolf?'” the daughter recalled. “After a bit of prodding and a very angry Dr. Hamada calling the pound, they determined Mazel was a high-content hybrid, probably [crossed] with a husky.”
Even though the vet urged the family to give up the wolf hybrid, the daughter said they were too attached. “Mazel turned into the most aggressively maternal being I’ve ever met. Playing with me on the blanket, sitting under my chair at meals, sleeping under my crib, teaching me to walk by letting me hang on to her fur and shuffle around,” explained the daughter, who also reported Mazel died in her sleep at the age of 19, leaving the family heartbroken but thankful for the years they spent with her.