Zoo ‘Dog Lion’ Substitution Angers Chinese Parkgoers [Video]

A Chinese zoo’s “dog lion” has made visitors to the park feel cheated, reports claim, after the perhaps not so clever ruse was unraveled in a moment awkward for everyone involved.

The zoo’s dog lion was allegedly a Tibetan mastiff, and the crack zoologists at the People’s Park of Luohe in the in the central province of Henan had hoped no one would notice the substitute.

The reports all go back to a single paper, the state-run Beijing Youth Daily. CNN translates, saying that it wasn’t just the zoo’s dog lion at issue — other exotic exhibits were subbed in with common species.

Fox explains:

“It quoted a customer surnamed Liu who wanted to show her son the different sounds animals made — but he pointed out that the animal in the cage labelled ‘African lion’ was barking.”

Liu said:

“The zoo is absolutely trying to cheat us… They are trying to disguise dogs as lions.”

The network says that in addition to the zoo’s dog lion, there was also a fox in the leopard enclosure and two further exotic beasts replaced with dogs.

CNN says the Chinese park admits the zoo dog lion report is accurate, and adds that the animals were briefly removed so they could be bred.

Liu Suya says the dog in the lion cage was actually there “due to safety concerns,” adding that the zoo is “not doing it out of shortage of funds.”

Do you think the zoo’s dog lion means Chinese zoo customers deserve a refund, or is the substitution a reasonable thing to do given the inability of animals to always be available?