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Zoo dog-lion: Chinese zoo under fire after 'lion' turned out to be dog in disguise

By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   Aug. 15, 2013 at 10:24 AM   |   Comments

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Aug. 15 (UPI) -- A Chinese zoo in the People's Park of Luohe is facing criticism after it replaced exotic exhibits with common species.

One visitor to the zoo took her son to show him the different sounds the animals made -- but the animal in the cage marked "African lion" was barking.

The so-called lion was actually a Tibetan mastiff, a large, long-haired dog breed.

"The zoo is absolutely cheating us," said the visitor, who paid $2.45 for the ticket. "They are trying to disguise the dogs as lions."

Three other species housed incorrectly included a white fox in a leopard's den and a dog in a wolf pen.

Liu Suya, chief of the park's animal department, said that the zoo does have a lion -- it's just in a breeding facility right now. The dog belonged to an employee and had been temporarily housed in the zoo.

"This is not funny at all. It's sad for both the zoo and the animals," said one user of Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.

"They should at least use a husky to pretend to be a wolf," said another.

Follow @cmlee and @UPI on Twitter.
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