Su Yun, a resident of Kunming City, Yunan in China, lives with her family and wants nothing more than to spend quality time with them. Thus, she spent weeks planning the perfect family vacation. They were so excited about their holiday together and never expected to return home with a new friend!
There was something about her two-year-old pooch that made her look at him in a different light. After seeing it, she could not possibly unsee it again. When the realization hit her, it was far too late already. In no time, the police would arrive at her house. Su Yun could tell that she was in trouble.
Desperate For A Puppy
The family was enjoying themselves on holiday when the stumbled upon this furry friend. One gaze and they were immediately hooked. This was their chance to bring home a new member of the family and it was all about to work out for them.
Su Yun had been under the impression that she knew what she was getting into. She did her research, read the reviews, and took a look at exotic dog breeds. Aside from this, she bought the things her dog needed: collar, lead, dog bed, shampoo, name tag. As you can see, there was some reason to believe that she was ready. It was only when he started to outgrow his things that she started to get worried…
This hardworking mother had a lot on her plate since she was juggling a full-time job and family duties. She decided that they needed to go on a holiday. This was the beginning of it all.
They packed their bags and embarked on this much-deserved trip of theirs. The family went on a vacation that changed the course of their lives. They had no idea that a decision they made would make its way to the headlines two years later. A couple of days after they arrived, the entire family had been enjoying the holiday when they stumbled into a litter of puppies.
Seeing the cute little balls of fur instantly made them happy. The kids started to plead with Su Yun and her husband to take them. Even though they had already been thinking about adopting a dog, they did not expect to decide at that exact moment.
Could this be destiny at work? Su Yun could not help but feel this way. Even so, she had no idea that this decision was going to change their lives forever. At the time she thought she was just welcoming a new puppy in the family.
Bringing Him Home
Su and her family were ecstatic about bringing home their new friend. They could not wait for him to get to know their home and make him part of the family. They thought about his named and finally, all decided on “Little Black.” They loved him instantly and treated him as part of the family.
He was put on a leash and was free to roam around until he was used to the new environment. Su then brought out his food and the pup had no problem eating! This was relieving for everyone. It was clear he was comfortable in the home.
All they wanted was for this new pop to grow up to be a healthy Tibetan Mastiff. This was exactly what happened and one month later they saw incredible results. He was growing larger and was reacting extremely well to his food.
The person who sold the puppy to the Yun family told them that it might grow to become two feet tall upon reaching its full size. This was normal for Tibetan Mastiffs. They were all thrilled with the new addition to the family and called him “Little Black.” At the time, they did not have a clue that this puppy would soon become a huge problem for them. Not so little anymore, huh?
They were overjoyed to see their new furry friend growing every day, but also getting concerned about how he was developing at such a rapid speed. Su was getting alarmed but instead pushed away from her curiosity. However, things were about to get worse with the time.
Little Black did something that surprised the whole family. One day she came home and saw him doing something spectacular, standing on his hind legs! This is something dogs can do, but when Little Black did it, he resembled another animal more than a dog.
The entire family spent more time with Little Black and started to get attached to the adorable puppy. Soon enough, it was time for them to go home! Aside from that, they needed to decide where in the house their new dog would sleep.
Getting Used To The Home
Even though the warm climate made it fine for him to sleep outside, they wanted him to be an indoor dog. It looked like Little Black was thrilled about the opportunity to get even closer to his family! However, they would soon realize that something was not quite right here.
Su Yun found it strange that he refused to eat the dog food that she presented him. Little Black simply would not eat it! The only food that he ate was quite strange.
With some semblance of enthusiasm, the only food he would eat was fruit and noodles. However, Su Yun was still a new dog owner, so she did not think a lot about it. Perhaps they simply lucked out and ended up with a fussy dog.
Every single day, their dog would eat two buckets of noodles and an entire box of fruits. Not only that, but it did not look like his appetite waned at all. A year after they brought him home, Su Yun had already spent a lot of money on his food! Apart from his peculiar food preferences, they started to take note of something worrying about Little Black. They had no clue that legal troubles were waiting for them…
Su noticed how much her new pet could eat so she would feet him as much as he could handle. However, when he reached one year old, the family decided it was time to make some changes. He was beginning to look different and it was time for a diet.
Even though Su Yun knew that he would grow up to be a big dog, she was not prepared at all for how huge he was getting. Little Black was already three feet tall and 250 pounds heavy by the time that he was two years old. This was considerably larger than the warning the seller gave them. However, the last straw for Su Yun was something that Little Black did in the kitchen…
When Little Black turned two, Su was already scared of her dog. Yes, it normal for pets to sometimes appear larger than their owners but this was something out of the ordinary! He exceeded anyone’s expectations.
Little Black had been growing so quickly that the entire family could not help but feel scared of him. They were now noticing that he had certain features that were hidden when he was a puppy.
Facing The Truth
Not only would he stand on his hind legs, but his teeth were also very big. They were starting to feel scared of him. Honestly, who can blame Su Yun for being in denial for so long?
Even though Su Yun had been pushing down on her fears, her pet was starting to earn a reputation in the neighborhood. Walking the dog started to be a spectacle and it was hard to handle him.
Aside from that, he soon became too huge to live inside their house. They created a makeshift dog house for him in the yard. However, they knew very well that the problem would get solved only because they moved him outside.
Little Black was finally an outside dog. Su Yun knew that he might start acting like one as well. You might think that he would have started to guard the house against possible intruders and barking at just about every moving thing. He never did either of those things. Su Yun started to realize that she had only ever heard her pet growl. Everything was starting to fall into place for her…
Little Black kept growing bigger and Su Yun started to worry some more. Things simply did not add up. She started to look up the normal behavior of Tibetan Mastiffs. What she learned only made her worry. She posted a photo of her pet online. It was a vet who told her that she had to call the police right away.
Something Isn’t Right
Another weird thing about Little Black was that he did not bark, but instead, he growled or roared. He was growing stronger with the time and the family soon realized that he wasn’t what they thought he was.
Searching For Answers
What happened next was something Su or her family could never have predicted. That day they thought the brought home a cute little dog, but what they got was so much more than that. Just wait and see what was to come.
They were shocked to learn that Little Black was not a Tibetan Mastiff but a black bear! The vet also told her that he was not an ordinary black bear since he was an Asiatic black bear. Also known as Tibetan bears or Himalayan bears, these creatures can grow up to six feet tall and 440 pounds heavy. He then informed her about something else that made her heart skip a beat.
Their Next Move
After learning the truth about their pet, Su and her family were unsure of how to move forward. They loved Little Black but now feared him. They couldn’t shake the fear of him eating of their whole family. So instead, she made sure there was never a time that he was hungry.
Can’t Do This Alone
After giving him his meals she realized she could not do this alone. She recruited the local animal rescue team as fast as possible. She knew there was no one else capable of helping her.
Chinese law prohibits the ownership of any kind of fair. It was an offense that was punishable by jail time. Truly, this was a difficult situation for her. Even though she loved Little Black, she knew that it was too much of a risk to keep him at home.
She could not stomach the thought of him turning on her or her kids. She thought that perhaps she could find a way out of the situation by contacting the local zoo before she got the authorities involved. Did her plan work?
Sadly, the zoo would not even consider taking the bear in since they had no proper paperwork, not even a birth certificate for him. Aside from this, they got him on holiday and had no way of getting in touch with the person who sold him.
In an hour, the police arrived at their home. There were wildlife experts with them. It turns out that they got a tip from the vet who saw her post in the animal behaviorist forum. Su Yun had to explain herself now. She talked about the situation that the family found itself in and cooperated with their requests. She gave them all the information she could since it meant that they could find Little Black a new home.
Su and the family were all baffled to hear that they were raising a bear in their own home the entire time. For two years they were oblivious to this. At the time, it was said that it was only a small Tibetan mastiff. After taking it home, it has been used as a Tibetan mastiff. Later, the more he started to look like a black bear.”
Nowhere Left To Go
She had no choice at that point. She was caught between a rock and a hard place. The only thing she could do was to call the police, but they were already coming for her!
“The more [Little Black] grew, the more like a bear he looked,” Su Yun told them. She also admitted that she was “a little scared of bears.” The authorities stayed with her to gather the information.
Meanwhile, the wildlife officials went outside to take a look at Little Black. They wanted to see if he had any injuries or conditions while Su Yun waited for the verdict. She was so nervous, yet nobody could even tell.
The officials declared that Little Black was healthy and well-fed! They just had to tranquilize him to bring him to the local wildlife center. Upon his arrival, experts could not believe what they heard.
How could Su Yun have kept a dangerous Tibetan Bear in her house for such a long time? The media soon heard about this incredible story as well. Everyone was shocked. How did she not realize her pet “dog” was a bear!
Everyone was bewildered to hear that Su Yun and the rest of the family were oblivious to the fact that their pet was a huge wild animal. It was not long before National Geographic got wind of this and covered the story.
This was the reason for the public outcry and the incredible attention they got! A lot of people had their eyes on Su Yun, who knew that it was likely she would get jail time for this.
A surprising thing happened with all the public outrage and media attention the story got. People started to talk about their stories of adopting animals and finding out they were something else entirely later on!
National Geographic said that it was not the only time that such a thing happened. It happens more often than one might assume. Interesting! But how did Su Yun pay for her error?
It was a good thing that the authorities acknowledged the cooperation that Su Yun displayed during the investigation. It helped them reach the decision that they made. She told them that the incident was sad but ultimately nothing more than an innocent mistake. After all, they were told that Little Black was a Tibetan Mastiff!
In case you wanted to know, Su Yun managed to avoid jail time even though Asiatic Bears have a protected species status. Little Black was taken to a nearby sanctuary, but the family knew that this was the best.
Have you ever heard of an Asiatic Black Bear? Well, you may be more familiar with the names Moon Bear, Himalayan Bear, or Tibetan Bear. This species is popular in areas of Asia and are most commonly known for their size.
How They Look
They also have thick glossy black or brown coats with a special feature. A white line runs through their chest that looks like a crescent moon. The bear is popular in Singapore, Korea, Japan, and China.
All Worked Out
Still, they missed the creature who was part of the family for two years! In the end, the story still ended on a very happy note. After all, Little Black continues to live out his days in good hands!
A Strange Find
It was not rare that Su stumbled upon Little Black during her holiday. There are plenty of bear farms in the country that have these types of bears to harvest their organs and create medicine.
IUCN says there are more than 17,000 bears amongst 70 farms in China. Su admits that she thinks the owner who sold her the bear in the first place was aware of it the entire time.
Su felt terrible about leaving her new furry friend but she also knew it was illegal to keep such an animal. She had no way of giving Little Black the life he needed and deserved, thus she had to give him up.