A strange animal that appeared to have a bear’s face on a dog’s body had people mystified in Chelyabinsk, Russia. The bear dog had many residents confused, the strange-looking hybrid mimicking a fictional animal more likely to be found in stories or on the television screen. Once it was confirmed that the unique creature was a real animal and not an internet hoax, many people wondered what the story was behind the strange animal.
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Experts have now concluded reasons behind the strange appearance of the animal’s bear-looking face (a long, broad snout, beady eyes and rounded ears often associated with bears) and canine body and movements. Local animal rights activists say they’ve never seen anything like it before. Although the animal’s similarity to a bear is uncanny, a local animal shelter Nash Dom, where the unique creature was taken, suggests it is a cross between a Chow Chow (a dog breed that originated from China and is often referred to as a “puffy lion dog”) and a wild long-nosed stray dog.
Even though the mystery that was haunting Russian residents appears to have been solved, there’s a disconcerting factor to the story. The owner of the shelter, Polina Kefer, believes the bear dog was irresponsibly bred and says the owner must have purchased the animal as a pet but later abandoned it when it became aggressive.
Kefer says the animal was a “badly-made” Chow Chow and was probably sold under the false impression that it was a pure breed. Kefer told The Siberian Times that it’s not unusual for people to buy dogs from irresponsible breeders and then regret their decision. “People buy such puppies and once they grow into something like this dog, they just throw them out like a broken toy,” explained Kefer.
An animal rights activist told The Sun that the cross-breed’s character is difficult to handle. “It has a difficult character, actually a little noxious,” he told The Sun. “We had a tough time with it, while we were transporting it.” Although the cross-breed appears to be aggressive, Kefer says they believe the animal’s aggression is mostly due to stress from being out on its own.
The animal’s distrustful temperament is now working against him, as the shelter struggles to find him a new home. They’ve coined the animal “Medvebaka” which in Russian language is a combination of bear (medved) and dog (sobaka). Unfortunately, although people have shown interest in adopting the unique breed, it’s previous traumatic experience with humans is making it difficult to find it a permanent home. The animal rights activist told The Sun that Medvebaka’s difficult character will continue to make it challenging to get the dog the care it needs: “The new owner would have to spend a lot of time in order to figure out an individual approach to this animal.”
One person even volunteered to take the cross-breed and brought it home. Sadly, they weren’t able to care for the bear dog and had to return him to the shelter. A shelter volunteer shared that Medvebaka had attempted to escape from his new home and family. “The dog hid inside an outdoor kennel and refused to come out,” the shelter volunteer explained. “He hated the leash, and showed no interest whatsoever in making friends. The dog is clearly so stressed that it might take weeks, if not months, to help him trust people again.”
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