August 17, 2013 in Nation/World

China zoo replaces lion with dog

Associated Press
 

BEIJING – Behold the regal lion and hear its mighty … bark?

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 Friday the zoo also had a dog in the wolf cage, foxes in the leopard enclosure and nutrias in a snake den.

Though the zoo said it wasn’t trying to fool anyone, it issued an apology to the public and closed for “rectification,” reported another newspaper, the Beijing News. It also planned to reorganize its public-private management structure, the newspaper said.

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 zoo keeper who was on a business trip and needed a place to keep his pet while away, Liu said.

Liu said the leopard had also been lent out for breeding while the snake and wolf were merely sheltering from the torrid summer heat. The substitute animals had been drafted because an empty cage would have “looked bad,” Liu said.

© Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Get stories like this in a free daily email


Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus