Wang Kaiyu, from Yunnan, China, thought he purchased two puppies from a Vietnamese man near the China-Vietnam border in 2013.
Instead, Wang discovered that the pet dogs under his care for the past two years are actually black bears.
Wang was told that the two “dogs” were friendly and well behaved at the time of purchase, reports Yahoo News. But as the two began to grow, their behavior worried him, especially after the two cubs killed and ate his pet chickens. Eventually, the bears each weighed 100 pounds.
Still, Wang continued to care for his pets until he came across a pamphlet on endangered animals from a Public Security Bureau, according to Mail Online.
It was then when Wang realized his two dogs were Asian black bears, a class II protected species, and that he was illegally keeping them on his property.
After consulting with his family, Wang reached out to the police to help find a suitable home for the two bears.
Since late June, the bears have been under the care of the Yunnan Wild Animal Rescue Center, where proper living arrangements are underway for them.
Fend Lingui, a representative from the rescue center, said the bears are of different sexes, and are in good health.
Hunting, trade, and continued loss of habitat have posed a serious threat to Asian black bears over the years, according to the International Union for Conversation of Nature.
Although international and national laws exist to protect the species, difficulties come in enforcing these measures.