A zoo in the central China city of Luohe attempted to pass off a Tibetan mastiff as a lion, state media reported. The large, aggressive breed has a trademark bushy mane that gives it a lion-like appearance, but its vocalizations are more woof than roar.
The Beijing Youth Daily said the zoo also had a dog in the wolf cage, foxes in the leopard enclosure and nutrias in the snake den.
Though the zoo said it was not trying to fool anyone, it issued an apology to the public and closed for “rectification,” reported another newspaper, the Beijing News.
The Beijing Youth Daily quoted zoo manager Liu Suya as denying any attempt at deception, saying the lion had been lent out for breeding and would be back soon. The dog belonged to a friend of a zookeeper who was on a business trip and needed a place to keep his pet while away, Liu said.