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    Zoo criticised after African lion turns out to be disguised dog

    NewsThursday 15 August 2013
    Visitors to a zoo in Henan, China, were left infuriated when they arrived at the lion enclosure, only to discover that the lion was infact a fluffy dog (not pictured). The zoo also attempted to pass off rats as “snakes”.
    According to the local newspaper Dongfang Jinbao, the zoo had a cage marked “African lions” but it simply contained a Tibetan mastiff. The Tibetan mastiff (pictured) is a breed of dog that has furry brown hair around its face, but it most certainly doesn’t resemble a lion. 
    An administrator from the zoo desperately tried to explain the situation by telling the Oriental Daily, “The wolves are there!”
    He then went on to explain himself a little further and said, “But the wolf is somewhere else in the pen and the dog is a pet. The African lions will be back, they went to another zoo to breed.”
    A likely story we think... However, the zoo weren’t able to explain why the “leopard” pen was full of fox-like creatures. 
    Some visitors were concerned and others were outraged, but truth was made more obvious when Sharon Liu, who had taken her six-year-old son to the zoo, heard barking coming from inside the lion’s cage. 
    "To use a dog to impersonate a lion is definitely an insult to tourists," she said.
    In China the practice of dyeing pets' fur to make them look like other animals, such as painting dogs black and white to make them look like pandas, has been a trend.
    However, the stunt pulled by the zoo, in claiming dogs as lions and rats as snakes, has drawn criticism from some areas of the internet. Some have had more fun with it and one blogger has said that people may be more inclined to visit the zoo after hearing about their bogus animals. 
    The blogger said: "People would want to know what they could think of next. Earthworms as pythons? … An eggplant disguised as a sea cucumber?"
    Picture: Melanie Ko
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