We’re not lion: China zoo tries to pass off dog as king of the jungle
Visitors to Luohe zoo noticed ruse when dog started barking
An image posted on Sina Weibo microblogging website of the ’lion’ in Luohe zoo
Hear me roar: a Tibetan mastiff. Easily mistaken for an African lion, wouldn’t you agree? Photograph: Getty Images
We’re not lion, honest. A zoo in the central China city of Luohe has closed after being caught attempting to pass off a Tibetan mastiff as a lion.
The Beijing Youth Daily said the zoo also had a dog in the wolf cage, foxes in the leopard enclosure and nutrias in the snake den.
The zoo placed an employee’s Tibetan mastiff dog in the lion cage, but visitors noticed the ruse when the dog started barking.
“The zoo is absolutely trying to cheat us,” a visitor told Beijing Youth Daily.
The paper quoted zoo manager Liu Suya as denying any attempt at deception, saying the lion had been lent out for breeding and would be back soon. “The African lions will be back. They went to another zoo to breed.”
The dog belonged to a friend of a zoo keeper who was on a business trip and needed a place to keep his pet while away, Mr Liu said.
Zoo officials have issued a public apology and said it is now “closed for rectification”.