According to Jim Halpert, it’s pretty much fact that bears eat beets. But apparently, it’s also a fact that bears look like dogs. So much so that one family actually raised a bear thinking it was a dog for two whole years.

That’s right, when a family in China purchased a puppy two years ago they were a little surprised that it had such a voracious appetite. They figured Tibetan mastiffs ate a lot, but they were shocked when theirs would polish off “a box of fruit and two buckets of noodles every day,” according to Chinese media.

Questionable eating habits aside, it wasn’t the quantity (or quality) of food that the family pet consumed that made them realize their gross error. That “aha moment” didn’t come until months later, when the animal just didn’t stop growing and eventually developed a penchant for walking around on its hind legs.

“The more he grew, the more like a bear he looked,” owner Su Yun told media. “I am a little scared of bears.”

But aren’t we all? Especially if we’re sharing living quarters with them?

Turns out this particular bear was an endangered Asiatic Black Bear, which would be worth a lot of money on the black market. Thankfully the family contacted the Yunnan Wildlife Rescue Centre instead. At that point the animal was so big that even staff who showed up to save the day were so scared of the bear—which stood over a meter tall—that they had to sedate it before transportation.

It almost sounds too ridiculous to be true, but here’s the kicker: this isn’t the first time someone just didn’t have any bearings when it came to finding a suitable family pet. In March another man in China took in what he thought was a stray dog wandering around the forest, raising it in a cage until neighbours called the police because at that point the animal was clearly a bear. Meanwhile Wang Kaiyu raised two black bears for just as many years in China thinking they were pups, while another woman in the country believed she was raising a Japanese Spitz that turned out to be a fox.

It’s all beary confusing, isn’t it? We suppose that’s what happens when you live in a country with the largest market for illegal pet trade. You either have to do your research and get the family pet from a reputable breeder or shelter, or just grin and bear it when the pup you’re raising in your home turns out to be a deadly animal.

Not exactly Sophie’s choice.