Ferrets Passing as Poodles, Puppies That Are Really Bears and 5 More Crazy Cases of Mistaken Animal Identity
A family in China bought what they thought was a Tibetan Mastiff puppy on a vacation in 2016. Flash forward to the current day, and this "canine" is 250 pounds, eating over two buckets of noodles and is walking around on its hind legs. What the family first believed was a loyal dog turned out to be an Asiatic black bear. After the discovery, the family moved their former pet to a wildlife center, where the wild animal could receive proper care.
Similar to the prior family, a woman in China bought what she thought was a Japanese Spitz puppy from a pet store last July. She began to suspect this dog might be an imposter when it gave up eating dog food after three months and never let out one bark in the close to 10 months she had it. The owner had a zookeeper examine the animal, and they confirmed her suspicions: Her puppy was actually a fox. After learning the truth, the "dog" owner decided to give the fox to a zoo so it could receive proper care.
YOU GO TO BE KITTEN ME
A group, including a 10-year-old child, claim to have come across two tiny felines near their San Antonio home. Assuming the animals were Bengal kittens, the group says they tried to feed the little ones, who bit them in response. This reaction from the baby animals prompted one of the people to call local Animal Care Services. An officer from the department arrived on the scene and broke the news that the Bengal kittens were really baby bobcats. The bobcat kittens have since been moved to a wildlife center. Further investigation into this incident revealed that the bobcat kittens may have been taken from the wild and moved to San Antonio, and that, unfortunately, there might have been a third baby bobcat that died along the way.
This one seems like a bit of a stretch, even if you aren't wearing your glasses. According to NBC New York, someone called in a tiger sighting in Manhattan, causing a frenzy in the city and on social media. Police arrived on the scene prepared to handle a big cat and discovered the animal that actually prompted the call was a rather large striped raccoon. Oops!
CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR
It's amazing what a perm can do. According to GeoBeat News, dog lovers in Argentina were duped by a man selling ferrets on steroids with fancy haridos as toy poodles. Buyers of the faux poodles didn't realize they were sold a rodent until they went to the veterinarian.
Another outbreak of raccoon confusion occurred in Connecticut in 2014. An eldery woman heard scratching at her sliding door one night and, assuming the animal making the sound was her cat, let the creature inside. It wasn't until much later when the woman reached down to pick up and pet her feline that she realized the animal was a wild raccoon not her beloved pet. The raccoon bit the woman several times on her arms and face, reports CBS New York, but did not cause any serious injuries.
The resemblance is uncanny for this case of mistaken animal identity. In May 2018, an Illinois woman found what she thought was a stray puppy on the street and brought the animal to the police. At the station, officers soon discovered the poor stray pup was actually a baby coyote and placed the animal with a wildlife rescue.