A Chinese zoo is in the doghouse after trying to pass off a common golden retriever as an exotic African lion.
No one is buying the im-paws-ible excuse that the zoo had made an honest mistake when it proudly advertised a dog sitting calmly inside a lion cage, according to the South China Morning Post.
The fur-ocious controversy unfolded last week when a man named Mr. Tang took his child to the Yuanjiashan Zoo in China‘s Sichuan province.
He was shocked when he found a mild-mannered golden retriever sitting behind an enclosure that had signage advertising that the animal was an African lion.
“At first, we thought we had gone to the wrong place,” Tang said, according to the Morning Post. “But after walking around the cage, we realized it is where the lion should be housed.”
Chinese zoo in the doghouse after claiming a pet golden retriever was a lion https://t.co/FwdN2mrviD
— SCMP News (@SCMPNews) March 31, 2021
Tang then asked a zoo employee to explain the mixup.
“Is that an African lion? Is it because it hasn’t grown up yet? It looks familiar to me,” he joked.
The zoo worker told Tang that a lion had previously been housed in the cage, but the animal was moved to a different location and the zoo simply forget to take the sign off.
“We are adjusting the animals’ accommodations, with the lion’s sign not taken down [from the cage] yet,” the worker said, according to the Morning Post.
Tang told the employee that he was barking up the wrong tree if he expected anyone to believe that laughable excuse. He then accused the zoo of “lion” to inflate ticket sales.
He further noted that he saw no lions anywhere in the zoo.
Tang said he was less bothered by the zoo’s apparent attempt to profit from false advertising than in how to explain to his child why he was unable to see the African lion, as Tang had promised.
“The money for the ticket is a small deal,” he said. “What matters [to] me more is that I don’t know how to explain the current situation to my kid.”
It’s unclear why the golden retriever was put on display inside the lion cage in the first place.
An employee told the Global Times that the dog is the zoo owner’s pet.
“This cage used to be for an African lion, but now it’s been redesignated as one for a golden retriever,” the worker said.
This is not the first time that a Chinese zoo tried to deceive visitors with false promises of exotic animals.
In 2013, a zoo in the central province of Henan angered patrons by trying to pass off a Tibetan mastiff — a large dog with poufy hair — as a lion, CNN reported.
“The zoo is absolutely trying to cheat us,” a woman told Chinese state media (not to be confused with CNN) in 2013.
“They are trying to disguise dogs as lions.”
This kind of deception is nothing new in communist China, where the government routinely lies to its citizens about almost everything.
In a stunning turn of events, the establishment U.S. media have not yet blamed former President Donald Trump or “white supremacy” for the Chinese zoo scandal.
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