The black bear Hanhan plays with a dog
Yang Linsheng, a villager in Xiayun Village, southwest China's Yunnan Province has been missing his pet since transferring it to forest authorities a week ago. It is a bear that he mistook for a dog and raised for three years.
"How is Hanhan doing? I don't know if she has been eating and sleeping well," Yang said. "I miss her a lot."
Yang found the black bear on a nearby mountain when he was picking mushrooms with fellow villagers in 2015.
A photo of Hanhan when she was little
"I heard crying sounds like a little puppy and found something like a black dog lying on the ground," Yang recalled. "We thought its mother would come to find it, so we just walked away."
On Yang's way back home, Yang found the cub was still lying there, breathing deeply.
"Out of pity, I put it in the bamboo basket on my back and took it home," Yang said.
Yang's family fell in love with the little creature and named it "Hanhan," meaning "simple and honest" in Chinese.
"She was very cute when she was little, and the kids loved playing with her," Yang said. The little bear was fed milk and grew quickly. Yang later gave her sausages and corn meal.
But things started to change when Hanhan turned six months old.
"She had some white fur on her chest, but when she was half a year old, the white fur began to grow in a V shape, just like the bears in 'Boonie Bears,'" Yang said, referring to a popular Chinese cartoon. "Her appetite also grew quite big."
Hanhan's bear nature started to overtake her "puppy" upbringing, and the family became a little cautious.
"We chained her to a tree in the courtyard when nobody was home," Yang said. "When we returned home, we let her loose to play in the courtyard."
Even though Yang realized that he had a black bear, the family had grown attached to Hanhan and they were scared to say goodbye.
"I raised her like my daughter," Yang said.
Hanhan plays with a dog in Yang's home
In late February, someone who had seen posts about the bear online notified the police, and local police launched an investigation.
Police in Yinsheng County, which administers Xiayun Village, said that the 80-kg Hanhan is an Asian black bear, which is listed as a national second-class protected species.
"Yang has violated the rules by raising a wild black bear without authorization," police said. The bear was transferred to local forest authorities last week.
He Zhendi, a local wildlife official, said that Hanhan will not be released into the wild as the animal grew up with humans and does not have survival skills.
Currently, Hanhan is being kept at a local wildlife base, and Yang and his family are allowed to visit her whenever they want.
Yang said the family will visit the bear soon.