Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
April 8, 2024 ·  3 min read

Family Raises 250-Pound ‘Dog’ For 2 Years — Then Realizes It’s A Bear

A family in rural China was shocked when they realized the puppy they had been raising for two years was a black bear! A member of the family, Su Yun, who lives in a remote village outside the city of Kunming in Yunnan, purchased a Tibetan mastiff puppy (or what she thought) when she was on vacation in 2016. For those who are unaware, Tibetan mastiffs are huge dogs that can weigh up to 150 pounds and have a thick black-and-brown coat since they usually live in cold places. Yun mentioned that she first had suspicions when she saw the “dog’s” insatiable appetite. As it turns out, the animal had wolfed down a box of fruits and a couple of buckets of noodles every day. 

Just a couple of years down the line, this woman’s pet black bear had been tipping the scales at 250 pounds and showed no signs of stopping. But what really brought on the truth was when she realized her pet had a penchant for walking on two legs. From bewilderment, she was suddenly alarmed. Speaking to the Chinese media, Su Yun mentioned, “The more he grew, the more like a bear he looked.” When she realized that she was actually sheltering a black bear, it didn’t sit well with her- as she is a “little scared of bears.” She reached out to the proper authorities, who identified her dog as an Asiatic black bear, which has been classified as a vulnerable species.

Read: This Brave Man Saving Drowning 400-Pound Black Bear is Still One of Greatest Rescue Stories Ever

The black bear cub that a Chinese woman has mistook for a Tibetan Mastiff cub.
Image Credits: CGTN

Woman Mistook Black Bear For Dog And Sheltered It For 2 Years

The black bear was then taken in by the Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Center after the family requested help. According to video footage from the area, the staff was found to be so intimidated by the size of the animal- which lived with the family- that they had to sedate it before they tried to transport it. While one can assume that the family was naturally embarrassed that they had been sheltering a wild animal in their household, that embarrassment was definitely mitigated by the fact that they were not the first among the neighbors to mistake the bear for a Tibetan mastiff. 

After relocating, the black bear had settled into a routine, as a video shot by a Chinese media outlet in 2018 showed the humongous bear with a glossy black coat and a huge, white mark on its chest casually eating an orange in a cage. The health inspectors noted that the bear was living a healthy life without any issues. Incidentally, in March another human, from the same province, had raised a bear after thinking it was a dog. The man had found it roaming in the forest- and considered it to be a stray dog. This is why he kept it in a cage- but later realized it was a predator that could rip him- limb from limb.

Keep Reading: Man Bitten By Pet Snake, The Extremely Deadly Gaboon Viper


  1. Pet dog raised by Chinese family for two years turns out to be a black bear.” Independent. Colin Drury. May 14, 2018.
  2. Family raises 250-pound ‘dog’ for 2 years — then realizes it’s a bear.” NY Post. Snejana Farberov. March 1, 2023.