Chinese Zoo Fakes Lion With Dog Knock-Off

  • 16/08/2013
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Add this to the long list of the strangest things ever faked in China. A chinese zoo in People's Park of Luohe, Henan province, got into trouble recently when its supposed "African lion" started barking like a dog:

The beast was in fact a Tibetan mastiff – a large and long-haired breed of dog.

“The zoo is absolutely cheating us,” the [Beijing Youth Daily] quoted Liu, who was charged 15 yuan ($2.45) for the ticket, as saying. “They are trying to disguise the dogs as lions.”

Not so, the zoo defended itself:

The chief of the park’s animal department, Liu Suya, told the paper that while it does have a lion, it had been taken to a breeding facility and the dog – which belonged to an employee – had been temporarily housed in the zoo over safety concerns.

The zoo, widely mocked for disguising a dog as a lion has shut down temporarily for “rectification”, according to reports.

The zoo’s supposed “African lion” was exposed as a fraud when the dog used as a substitute – a Tibetan Mastiff – started barking, the state-run Beijing Youth Daily had reported earlier.

The zoo, in central China’s Henan province, has “altered several misnamed animal signs,” the Beijing Times reported, adding that zoo officials have issued a public apology and “closed for rectification”.

Three other species housed incorrectly in the zoo reportedly included: two coypu rodents in a snake’s cage, a white fox in a leopard’s den, and another dog in a wolf pen.Tibetan Mastiff

A photograph of a dog sitting in a cage in front of a sign reading “African lion” drew ridicule on Chinese social media services, with one user saying: “They should at least use a husky to pretend to be a wolf”.

The Tibetan Mastiff is a large and hairy dog breed.

Authorities in the park in the city of Luohe, where the zoo was located, said that the facility had been contracted out to a private zookeeper since 1998.

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