This past May Day holiday, the forestry department of Shaanxi province was called to a resident’s home to take away a black bear club and release it back into the wild. It was a difficult parting for the cub’s adoptive father.
The resident, surnamed Gao, said that when he first found the bear a large dog had been barking at it. He thought that the dog was simply trying to bully a smaller dog, so Gao graciously carried the pup-like creature into the safety of his car, only to turn the light on and discover that he had just placed a tiny bear on his passenger seat. Being the nice guy he is, Gao drove the bear back to his house and away from the scary dog.
Gao’s friends conferred and concurred that the animal was definitely not a dog, but a bear. What should he do with a bear? “The little black bear might have been separated from its mom,” Gao said. “Since it wasn’t old enough to feed itself, I decided to raise it for a few days.”
Surprisingly, the 40-centimeter long cub wasn’t afraid of strangers. It ran around Gao’s yard and enjoyed climbing on windows and up trees. On one occasion, it even jumped into the swimming pool for a quick dip.
“I fed it milk, apples, hams and corn; it’s not a picky-eater,” Gao told reporters. “It’s very good-natured too.”
But Gao was aware that black bears are a protected animal in China, and he couldn’t keep his new friend with him forever. “I planned to keep it a little longer and then release it back into nature, but I was also afraid that once it was back in the forest, it would get caught by other people,” Gao explained. After six days of happiness, Gao finally called the forestry department to come and pick up the bear.
Forestry department employees confimed that Gao’s adopted pet is definitely not a dog, but a three-month-old black bear.
The cub will be sent to a wildlife refuge center outside of Xi’an and then released back into the wild once it is able to fend for itself.
By Lucy Liu
[Images Tencent News]