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Chinese villager’s ‘pet dog’ turns out to be a bear

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A Chinese villager reportedly raised an endangered black bear at home believing it was a dog.

Mr Yang, from southern China’s Yunnan Province, claimed he found the animal in the forest in April, 2015, and thought it was an ordinary black puppy, reported Chinese media. 

It’s stated.six months later, Mr Yang’s father told him the animal, nicknamed Han Han, might be a bear because it started to show bear-like traits.

The picture provided by Mr Yang to a local newspaper shows the pet when it little

The bear, around three years old now, weights 88lbs and stands 5ft6in tall

The pictures provided by Mr Yang to a local newspaper show the pet when it little and today. The man in southern China claimed he had thought the animal was a dog, not a bear

Mr Yang is pictured feeding the female bear which is kept in a cage at his home in Yongsheng

Mr Yang is pictured feeding the female bear which is kept in a cage at his home in Yongsheng

The pet also started to show a V-shaped yellow stripe across the chest, a characteristic for the Asiatic Black Bears.

As stated by local newspaper Lijiang Du Ben, Mr Yang argued that he had thought the mark across Han Han’s chest was its natural fur colour. 

However, after realising Han Han was a bear, not a dog, Mr Yang chose to keep raising it. 

He claimed to the reporter that he had felt attached to the animal and didn’t want to give it away. 

Mr Yang stated.he put the animal in a cage in 2017 after hearing cases of bears attacking people

Mr Yang stated.he put the animal in a cage in 2017 after hearing cases of bears attacking people

Police learnt about the incident after seeing pictures of Mr Yang's bear on social media

Police learnt about the incident after seeing pictures of Mr Yang’s bear on social media

Video footage provided by Mr Yang to Chinese media shows Han Han playing with Mr Yang’s pet dog when it was little.

In the video, Han Han was walking on two legs, while Mr Yang’s pet dog was on all fours. 

WHAT ARE ASIATIC BLACK BEARS?

Asiatic black bear is also known as moon bear. 

The species is listed as Appendix I by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an international agreement between governments aimed to protect endangered animals and plants.

Appendix I is the highest category for endangered species, and according to the convention, animals in the category are threatened with extinction. 

The report stated.Mr Yang makes a living by breeding animals in the county of Yongsheng in Lijiang, but it doesn’t not specify what animals he keeps.

The report also stated.that Mr Yang started to keep Han Han in a cage from mid-2017 after hearing other villagers being attacked by wild black bears.

Han Han, around three years old now, weights 88lbs and stands 5ft6in tall. It’s a female bear. 

The Forest Police of Yongsheng County learnt about the incident after seeing pictures of Mr Yang’s bear on social media.

They immediately went to Mr Yang’s home for investigation.

The animals was confirmed to be an Asiatic Black Bear, which is a protected animals in China.

It’s also an endangered animal species widely traded by illegal smugglers in Asia for their body parts.

A statement from the Forest Police of Yongsheng County stated.officers from the Forestry Bureau of Lijiang went to Mr Yang’s home on March 6 to confiscate the bear. 

The statement also stated.that Mr Yang was suspicious of raising and breeding wild animals without permission, but because he showed cooperation with police, no further penalty was given to him.

Mr Yang's pet was confirmed to be an Asiatic Black Bear, an endangered animal species

Mr Yang’s pet was confirmed to be an Asiatic Black Bear, an endangered animal species

The statement did not comment on Mr Yang’s motivation of raising the bear. 

Mr Yang claimed to media: ‘I raised it like my own child, not for money. 

‘I know it’s not right to raise a bear in private, but I had formed a bond with it, and I feared that it might not live well if I gave it away.’

The bear is now being looked after by a wildlife breeding centre in the county of Yulong in Lijiang city, according to police.

ILLEGAL BEAR TRADING IN ASIA 

A caged bear is raised for bile extraction at a private restaurant in Van Dinh town, Northern province of Ha Tay, 23 November 2006

A caged bear is raised for bile extraction at a private restaurant in Van Dinh town, Northern province of Ha Tay, 23 November 2006

Asiatic black bear is commonly and illegally traded for their body parts throughout Asia, including Myanmar, China, Vietnam, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia, according to Jill Robinson MBE, founder of the Animals Asia charity.

Asiatic black bear is also farmed in China and Vietnam for its bile, which is thought to have high medical values. 

The bear’s paws, teeth and gall bladders are also desirable as traditional medicine.  

Dr Robinson stated.Animals Asia has worked with the authorities in China and Vietnam to rescue over 600 bears from being illegally traded.

The rescued bears now enjoy happy and healthy lives at Animals Asia’s sanctuaries in both countries. 

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