Zoo Tries to Pass Off Dog as Lion

And fox as leopard

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 15, 2013 1:25 PM CDT | Updated Aug 18, 2013 7:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – It wasn't hard to figure out that the "African lion" at a Chinese zoo was no lion: The animal was barking, according to one mom whose son pointed out the apparent discrepancy. Turns out the zoo in the People's Park of Luohe had substituted a Tibetan mastiff, a big, fluffy-haired dog, AFP reports. Another dog was labeled a wolf, a white fox was labeled a leopard, and two rodents were residing in a snake's cage. The park's animal department chief claims the zoo does have a lion, but it's at a breeding facility, and the dog was just being kept in its enclosure for safety reasons.

The South China Morning Post has more of his explanation: "The wolves are there. 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." Not surprisingly, users of China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo had some fun with the whole thing. "They should at least use a husky to pretend to be a wolf," said one. Click to see a picture of the so-called "lion."

A Tibetan mastiff. Or, if you're the People's Park zoo, an African lion.
A Tibetan mastiff. Or, if you're the People's Park zoo, an African lion.   (AP Photo)
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