-- Family That Thinks It’s Raising A Puppy Watches Him Grow Into A Totally Different Animal

Adopting a puppy comes with all sorts of surprises. Potty training them alone is a process! Still, despite all of the challenges, you can usually expect to add something special to your life when you welcome a puppy into your home. You never know what kind of personality your little pup will develop.
For one family in China, their young dog seemed to present even more unusual challenges than most. He couldn’t stop eating, and he seemed to grow absurdly large. They figured it was because of his breed, but they couldn’t have been more wrong—and they soon realized they were in danger the entire time.
Su Yun, a resident of the city of Kunming in the Yunnan province of southwestern China, live an otherwise happy, normal life with her family. Naturally, she decided to expand it in 2016 by adopting a puppy.
Brücke-Osteuropa / Wikimedia Commons
Su wasn’t entirely sure what kind of dog she’d brought home, but she was fairly confident that he was a Tibetan mastiff (pictured here). Those are big dogs, so she figured her new puppy would have to be fed a lot. However, she never expected his insatiable appetite!
 Even when he was still just a puppy, nothing seemed to satisfy the dog’s hunger. He would eat entire boxes of fruit and noodles in a day! Still, Su and her family didn’t think there was any reason to be alarmed. Dogs just love to eat, right?
Richard Masoner / Flickr
Ultimately, it was not the dog’s appetite that made the family worry, but his rapid growth. By the time he was just two years old, he weighed a whopping 250 pounds. That would be absolutely massive for even the biggest dogs!
Things only became more bizarre from there. Eventually, he developed an ability to walk on his hind legs. Some dogs could do this for a few minutes—like show poodles—but this big guy actually seemed to be able to maintain his balance.
The bigger he became, the stranger he looked, too. The family started to become suspicious that their precious pup was not what he seemed. “The more he grew, the more like a bear he looked,” Su admitted. “I am a little scared of bears.”
Tony Hisgett / Wikimedia Commons
At that point, it became evident that this was no dog: the family’s pet was, indeed, a bear! Of course, a bear did not have any business in a home. Su reached out to the staff at the Kunming Zoo to see if they’d be able to provide a home for the animal.
Daderot / Wikimedia Commons
Unfortunately, at the time, Su didn’t have a proper birth certificate for the animal that she had assumed was just an abnormally large dog. Because of this, the zoo couldn’t legally bring him onto their premises.
With that, Su contacted the Kunming Wildlife Police, who in turn put her in touch with the Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Centre. Finally, the center agreed to take in the (presumably rather confused) animal.
At that point, when the officials reached the bear, he had grown to be three feet tall. Despite their expertise, they were understandably quite frightened, and they had to tranquilize the animal for safety reasons.
Once the staff of the Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Centre got a hold of the creature, they were able to identify him as an Asiatic black bear, which was considered “vulnerable” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
These bears have had a particularly rough time in China in recent decades. Due to severe habitat loss between the 1940s and 1990s, they’ve suffered a severe drop in population numbers—nearly 80 percent!
cuatrok77 / Flickr
Despite the legal issues surrounding these bears, their remains—like their gall bladders and claws—fetch a high price on the black market. If Su hadn’t done the right thing, her “dog” may have suffered a terrible fate!
In any event, the staff at the Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Centre were determined to keep this bear safe, naming him “Little Black.” Thankfully, he was in surprisingly great health for being kept in a small home!
It should be noted that China’s National Protection Wildlife Law explicitly prohibits the poaching of bears, and there are severe punishments for those who hunt them without permission.
shankar s / Flickr
There was even a chance that the Yun family could suffer penalties for keeping Little Black as a house pet for as long as they did, even though they eventually turned him in to the proper authorities.
Luckily, the police considered reducing the family’s punishment since they were so cooperative. After all, as far-fetched as it may sound, these people really didn’t know that anything was wrong with their pet “dog” for quite some time!
Naturally, this unusual turn of events became a hit among the Chinese press. It was difficult for many people to believe that a family could go so long without realizing that their “dog” was actually a bear!
Hopefully, Little Black appreciates his new life as a bear in captivity, even if he may have already been accustomed to living his life as a preposterously large pooch. That couldn’t have lasted forever!
There’s nothing that can quite prepare anyone for the realization that they’ve had a bear living in their own home for years. Luckily, Little Black was taken to a much more appropriate place, which is certainly the first step in the right direction.
Bears are wild animals, and wild animals belong in the wild. Unfortunately, a bear named Napa spent his whole life only knowing cages and concrete. Although he was originally born in a zoo, fate had other plans in store for the poor bear…
Napa was sold to a Serbian circus, called Corona, at a very young age where he was forced to perform tricks in front of a very large and loud crowd.
It’s unclear exactly what life at the circus was like because in 2009 Serbia banned the use of wild animals in their shows. Since the circus no longer needed him, he was forced to spend his days in a small cage.
FOUR PAWS, an international animal welfare charity that focuses on sustainable solutions for wild animals in need, heard about Napa’s conditions and just had to take action. 
@FourPaws / Facebook
Volunteers knew they needed legal help in order to relieve Napa from his inhumane life. They sought aid from local officials, but they also knew that the odds of rescuing him were slim indeed. 
Finally, in October 2016, FOUR PAWS and local officials were able to confiscate Napa from the Corona Circus grounds. But due to lack of long-term facilities, Napa had to be placed in temporary holding at the Palic Zoo in Serbia. 
It wasn’t until early July 2018, nearly two years later, that FOUR PAWS was able to provide Napa with a permanent home. A home that could provide him with the best and most natural life possible.
Rescuers worked tirelessly with the Arosa Bear Foundation, the founder of a brand new bear sanctuary located in Switzerland, to complete the mission. Napa was going to become its very first resident, but the journey to bring him home wasn’t going to be easy…
@ArosaBarenland / Facebook
Veterinarians sedated him and then transported Napa to the bear ambulance where he would travel for 28 hours and nearly 870 miles by van and cable-car.
Traveling to his forever home, Napa was provided with an air-conditioned ambulance and had scheduled veterinarian checks along the way.
He was in the last leg of the trip when rescue crews ran into a slight problem. They needed to figure out how to transport Napa’s 1,200-pound crate from the ambulance to the cable car.
Napa had come so far and the crew was not going to give up. Bear expert, Carsten Hertwig, at FOUR PAWS said, “Transporting [him] from the bear ambulance to the gondola was a logistical masterpiece. I am very happy that everything went so well.”
@arosabaerenland / Instagram
Napa’s rigorous trip was complete when he had finally arrived at the Arosa Bear Sanctuary in Switzerland on July 4, 2018. He was placed in an adaptation enclosure so that he could see his new home without being overwhelmed.
He was provided with lots of love and treats consisting of fruits, vegetables, and meat. He was also showered down with a hose, a first for this bear who had been neglected for so long. 
@arosabaerenland / Instagram
As Napa looked around, he was curious and finally at peace in his new home surrounded by the breathtaking Arosa Mountains. In no time, Napa was comfortable and ready to be released from his adaptation enclosure.
Napa stepped out to explore his new home which provided over an acre of land just for him. The sanctuary was filled with slopes, trees, and ponds for his enjoyment.
Something that Napa now loves to do is go swimming in his own personal pond. He can be seen entering the pond and then joyfully splashing around below.
Arosa Tourismus
The Arosa Bear Sanctuary officially opened in early August of 2018. It is a three-hectare site containing species-appropriate enclosures and room for up to five bears.
@arosabaerenland / Instagram
Napa and the other bears have given the Arosa Bear Foundation hope. Their sanctuary offers visitors and tourists a place to become educated on animal welfare and nature conservation topics. 
Although Napa’s life did not start out under the best conditions, he has helped shed light on the necessity of species-appropriate sanctuaries for animals like him. He was a success and now, he’s finally free of his cage and home for good!
@arosabaerenland / Instagram

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