A Chinese zoo’s so-called “African lion” was exposed to be a dog when it began barking.
The Henan Province zoo, the People’s Park of Luohe, used many common animals under the guise of more exotic species, reported the state-affiliated Beijing Youth Daily.
A customer in the zoo, surnamed Liu, was describing to her son the different sounds made by the zoo animals, but her son noticed that the “African lion”—actually a Tibetan mastiff—was barking.
“The zoo is trying to disguise dogs as lions—absolutely cheating us,” Liu told the newspaper.
Other exhibits at the zoo had another dog in a wolf’s pen, two river rats in a snake cage, and a white fox labeled as a “leopard.”
The lion had been taken to a breeding facility, Liu Suya, the park’s animal department chief, told Youth Daily, and the dog was an employee’s pet that was put in the exhibit to keep it safe.
Earlier this year, a man bit an ostrich to death as part of a complex suicide attempt in Guangdong Province, and in Shenzhen City, ten crocodiles were killed by visitors who threw rocks at them and littered in their water supply to verify the animals were real.