Chinese Zoo: Dog Displayed As African Lion

Jennifer Deutschmann - Author
By

Aug. 15 2013, Updated 7:16 a.m. ET

At a Chinese zoo, a dog was displayed under the label “African Lion.” The fraud was discovered when it started barking. Visitors to the People’s Park of Luohe were irate.

Park officials are accused of displaying dogs in place of zoo animals. In addition to the dog in the lion’s display, a different dog was displayed as a wolf, and a white fox was displayed as a leopard.

As reported by ITV, zoo officials admit that they made some mistakes. The zoo’s actual African lion is currently housed in a breeding facility.

Zookeepers placed the Tibetan mastiff inside the lion’s enclosure so guests “would not be disappointed.” They obviously did not expect visitors to notice the difference.

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Liu was enjoying the zoo with her son. They were watching the “lion” when it suddenly started barking. Liu was outraged:

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“The zoo is absolutely cheating us… they are trying to display the dogs as lions.”

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Although the ticket prices are under $3, Liu expected the exhibits to be correctly labeled. Another visitor pointed out two rodents displayed as snakes.

As reported by Fox News, officials with the Chinese zoo say the dog belongs to an employee. Tibetan mastiffs do look like lions. However, the zoo guests were not fooled for long.

Tibetan mastiffs are large, fluffy dogs. They are very smart and very independent. As reported by TibetanMastif.org, they are incredibly difficult to train.

They develop strong bonds with their owners, and guard them with their lives. If not properly trained and cared for, they can become aggressive with strangers.

The mastiff’s presence in China dates back to 1100 BC. They originated in the Himalayan Mountains and Plains of Asia.

Tibetan mastiffs may appear similar to lions. However, they are definitely not felines.

The Chinese zoo dog eventually revealed its identity when it barked. Zoo officials apologized for the mixup. They will be changing the display labels to reflect the correct animals.

[Image via Flickr]

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