A Chinese couple has been raising an animal that they believed to be a Tibetan mastiff dog in their home for the last two years. While the couple initially wondered why the dog was eating two bowlfuls of fruit and a bucket of noodles each day, they never questioned that the animal was a dog. That is until the dog started walking on two legs. Then, the couple discovered that they were raising a bear.
The concerned couple called officials at the Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Centre. These experts confirmed the couple’s fear saying that it was an Asiatic black bear. They sedated the animal that stood about three feet tall before moving it to their center.
They are not the first couple, however, in the Yunnan province to make the mistake. Just two months ago, a man was hiking in a forest in the province when he found what he thought was a stray dog. The man brought the dog home where he put it in a cage. Only later did he realize that he had made a mistake and brought home a bear.
For those who may have a hard time distinguishing a bear from the Tibetan mastiff dog, this breed of dog stands about 26 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs over 100 pounds. Unlike bears who will eat any time, mastiffs usually only consume two to four cups of food a day, and it is not unusual for a male to skip a meal if a nearby female is in heat. This breed does not shed, but it does lose all its coat within a few days once a year. They have a very densely coated mane. They are very loyal to the ones that they love and are fierce protectors of their territory.
Wildlife officials say that the couple did the right thing in contacting them. If they had sold the black bear illegally, they could have made over $1,000.