Adding a puppy should be one of the happiest things for a growing family. When one family adopted its newest member, a specific dog breed, they could hardly control their excitement to start raising him. But their excitement would quickly turn into fear as they found something strange was going on with their new pet.
Su Yun, like a lot of mothers in the world, was hardworking, and her life was nonstop action. She felt like she had her hands full with family time between spending time with her husband and raising her two children.
Su Yun and her family were living in a southwest province in Kunming City, China. Their lives were relatively normal, but a great change was in store for them. She was going to add a new member to their family - a pet. However, what she thought would be a happy addition would soon take a drastic turn, making headlines, and changing their lives.
Like many other families with young kids, life can get a little busy. Su Yun was feeling stressed and wanted a little getaway. She booked her family a long-awaited vacation in Asia and started counting down the days until the trip came.
With the big day coming up, Su Yun packed up her bags, got her kids ready, and figured out all of the logistics for her trip. She would soon learn that no matter how much preparation goes into a journey, there are always unexpected situations coming. But no one could have predicted the outcome of a seemingly innocent encounter with a few cute animals.
After months of anticipation, Su Yun and her family were finally on vacation and excited about what they would see. During a walk one day with her children, Su Yun came across a group of puppies that had been on sale for adoption.
For a long time, Su Yun’s kids had been begging her to take in a dog, but she refused. However, this time, Su Yun was falling in love with one of the little puppies. After years of considering it, Su Yun decided it was finally time to get a pet and bought the puppy. Soon, she would realize that she had taken on much more than she had expected.
The seller told Su Yun and her family that the dog was a Tibetan Mastiff, which was a large breed that can grow to 180 pounds and stand over two feet tall. That’s one huge furball!
Su Yun and her family decided to name the puppy “Little Black,” partially due to his black fur and partially in irony based on how big he could become. The name sounded a little funny in English, but it seemed like a cute name for their pet in Chinese. The whole family had no idea that Little Black would become a pretty big deal, and could possibly end up landing them in legal trouble.
The family continued to fall in love with Little Black throughout the rest of the vacation, on the trip back, and as they returned home. When they got home, Su Yun and her family decided to keep Little Black indoors, so he could live right next to the rest of the family.
As Little Black adjusted himself to his new life, the entire family was happy to see that he had a good appetite and settled in pretty quickly. As time passed, though, they started to notice something strange about their furry friend.
As the dog seller had warned, Little Black did not remain too little for long. Actually, there was hardly a moment when Little Black was not eating. Su Yun was new to raising a dog, so her pet’s diet was a little strange. Every day, Little Black ate an entire box of mixed fruits plus two entire buckets of noodles.
For most dogs, eating fruits and noodles would keep them pretty sick. But Little Black was seemingly unfazed by his fare. Regardless, things were beginning to get out of control with the amount of food he was eating. By the time Little Black turned one year old, Su Yun had already spent a fortune on his insatiable appetite. But this would soon be the least of her problems.
As Little Black continued to grow, so did his already huge appetite. At first, the family was encouraged by how much their pet was eating, they were now growing concerned. Although Su Yun and her family had heard of huge dogs and had expected their dog to be large, they were not expecting anything like this.
By the time he was two years old, Little Black already weighed a staggering 250 pounds and was 3-feet-tall, much larger than the seller had said. But pretty soon, his size wouldn’t be the family’s only concern as they started to spot even more peculiar things about him.
Sure, many dogs, especially Tibetan Mastiffs, can grow to be much bigger than people expected. But size was nothing compared to some of the other jaw-dropping things that Su Yun noticed around her home.
When entering the kitchen one day, she saw Little Black standing on his hind legs. To be fair, many dogs sometimes stand on their hind legs, and they stand only briefly. But Little Black was standing like a human. This was definitely not normal. It was at that moment that Su Yun knew deep down something was seriously strange about her dog.
The standing incident in the kitchen had proved not to be a one-off. Repeatedly, Su Yun would see Little Black standing upright in a room. She started to get a little scared and decided to look into her dog. Soon she found a few other peculiarities.
Su Yun noticed that Little Black had gigantic teeth, but she convinced herself that all large Tibetan Mastiffs must have large teeth. Then, she started to observe certain facial features and found his snout becoming more pronounced. However, Su Yun was in denial and shrugged off some of the signs that she knew deep down pointed to trouble.
While Su Yun was unsettled by her ever growing pet, her children were enjoying all of the attention that came with having the biggest dog in the area. People in the neighborhood started to hear about the peculiar dog.
Taking Little Black for walks became a spectacle, as he kept getting larger and larger. As he continued to grow, there was little room for Little Black in the home. Soon enough, Su Yun started to keep him in a makeshift dog house outside of her home. But it was not like keeping the pet in the backyard meant that any of the underlying problems would go away.
In addition to Little Black’s teeth and oversized being, there was another thing that was growing a little larger: his temper. Little Black was starting to lash out at Su Yun and her family. While luckily no one got hurt, they did get spooked.
That was when Su Yun realized that over the last two years, she had never heard Little Black bark. He often growled, but not in the way that a dog usually did. It sounded more like a roar. Su Yun was getting more scared of the adopted animal.
When Little Black was just a little over two years old, Su Yun was officially scared of her own dog. She could barely keep Little Black on a leash to take him for walks.
Su Yun was getting worried for the safety of her children and for herself. So she decided to do some investigating and started to search the Internet for more information. When she first started looking into it, she knew for sure that Little Black was not a normal dog. But when she found out what exactly he was, she was left speechless.
After doing some research into different characteristics and behaviors that Su Yun had witnessed, like Little Bear’s teeth, his size, and his propensity to standing on his hind legs, Su Yun was taken aback. It turned out that what she thought was a Tibetan Mastiff was something else entirely.
Su Yun’s pet dog was actually a huge black bear! She could hardly believe what she was discovering, but every single indicator that she read confirmed her fears. Su Yun was shocked, horrified, and worried. She didn't know what to do next, but she knew that she had to do something and fast.
Su Yun kept collecting information and found that Little Black was not just a normal black bear. He was an Asiatic Black Bear, which was also known as a Himalayan Bear or a Tibetan Bear. This specific type of black bear is known to be medium sized – but even still, they can stand over six-feet-tall and reach 440 pounds.
While Asiatic Bears are usually herbivorous, they can be aggressive towards humans when aggravated. Su Yun started to investigate what to do, and saw that raising a bear in China was a crime that would result in a prison sentence. She quickly realized she was in a dire situation.
As much as Su Yun had grown to love Little Black, she knew that he had to leave her home. But how does one go about finding a safe, new home for her gigantic pet black bear? Sun Yun had no idea where to start.
Her first idea was to call the local zoo to see if there was a space for Little Black. The zoo wanted to help, but said that they could not even consider taking the bear in without a birth certificate. Reluctantly, Su Yun knew what she had to do, and she knew that it could cause her more trouble.
Su Yun had no other choice but to call the police and tell them about what she had been through. Within just several minutes, the police and wildlife experts at the Forest Public Security Bureau arrived at the scene.
Su Yun fully cooperated with their inquiries and investigations. In an interview, Su Yun admitted that “the more Little Black grew, the more like a bear he looked.” She also told them that she was “a little scared of bears.” No kidding. She explained what had happened, but it was not until the police saw Little Black himself that they were truly shocked.
The police and the forestry officials walked into Su Yun’s backyard and immediately saw an eye-popping sight: a gigantic animal sitting in a caged area. Upon first sight they knew that the animal was anything but a dog. Once they inspected Little Black, they confirmed the pet was most likely a bear.
Police began to inquire Su Yun about the adoption, raising Little Black, and where exactly her pet came from. Su Yun filled the police in on the dangerous mix up and told them everything about Little Black. But would that be enough to release her from almost inevitable consequences?
While the police were collecting information about Little Black, wildlife experts were examining the pet bear. The officials checked for any signs of injuries or malnourishment, and Su Yun stood nearby worrying about the consequences of keeping a bear at her home.
After a brief checkup, officials determined that Little Black was well fed, and healthy. Next, they had to figure out how to take the gigantic bear to the wildlife rescue center nearby. Little Black was tranquilized so that he could be safely transported to the local wildlife center. But the question still lingered as to whether Su Yun would be penalized for housing the bear.
Experts again confirmed Su Yun’s fears as soon as Little Black reached the wildlife center. Indeed, Su Yun had unknowingly raised a potentially dangerous Asiatic Black Bear in her backyard. Her story attracted a ton of media attention with everyone wondering how Su Yun could have possibly not known she had kept a black bear at home.
Even National Geographic wrote about the unbelievable story and it caused a viral sensation. But more surprisingly, some people shared their own stories about adopting pets and later realizing they were a different species entirely. With more media attention, Su Yun was more fearful that police would press charges against her.
Su Yun continued to cooperate with the police about the startling mishap, and it seemed to pay off. Though Asiatic Bears are a protected species in China due to poaching, Su Yun was able to avoid jail time and the police had said that any penalty would be reduced because of her cooperation.
The entire ordeal was shocking for the family, but they don’t blame their former pet. There are still many times that Su Yun and her family miss Little Black. There is still some hope for a future reunion as Little Black was put in a nearby reserve. But fortunately for everyone, his days in the backyard are over.
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