China ‘dog-lion’: Henan zoo mastiff poses as Africa cat
An animal described as an African lion at a Chinese zoo was exposed as a fraud – when the creature started barking in front of visitors.
Chinese media reports said the zoo had replaced its genuine lion with a Tibetan mastiff dog.
A zoo official in Henan province said the dog – owned by one of the workers – was put in the cage when the real lion was sent away to a breeding centre.
Outraged visitors to the zoo in Louhe city said they had been cheated.
According to a report in the Beijing Youth Daily, the fraud came to light when a mother visited the zoo, in a park in the city of Louhe, to show her son the sounds different animals made.
But when they got to the cage marked “African lion” – which had a sign describing the range and characteristics of the animal – they were shocked to hear the creature bark.
It was then that zoo keepers revealed the so-called lion was actually a Tibetan mastiff, an animal that can have a furry brown coat, making it look a little like a lion.