Instead of a magnificent roar akin to Lion King's Mufasa or Simba, tourists got the surprise of their lives when a lion in a zoo in eastern China gave off a bark. And in yet another China epic fraud, where phones, toys and car parts can be faked, people still could believe even zoo animals can be faked.
Located in the central province of Henan, the zoo in the People's Park of Luohe, even proudly stated that the animal behind the cage was an "African lion." But when it started barking and picked the curiosity as well as anger of the tourists, only then did it admit that the animal was actually a Tibetan mastiff.
China Epic Fraud: Zoo Dresses Up Dog to Look Like a Lion, Thought Nobody Would Notice
A customer named Sharon Liu was then out with her 6-year-old son, educating her child on the different sounds that animals make, when the lion roared... err barked.
"The zoo is absolutely cheating us," Ms Liu was quoted by state-run Beijing Youth Daily. She said entrance tickets to the zoo were charged 15 yuan ($2.70) per person. "They are trying to disguise the dogs as lions."
"To use a dog to impersonate a lion is definitely an insult to tourists," she protested.
And as if the revelation was not enough, the local paper reported that other animals were either improperly labeled or placed in the wrong cages. It is not clear if the scheme is an apparent insult to the Chinese's intellect.
Beijing Youth Daily reportedanother dog was found in a wolf cage, while a leopard enclosure contained a white fox.
Sina Weibo user netizens, China's Twitter-like portal, immediately ganged up on the management of the zoo.
"This is not funny at all. It's sad for both the zoo and the animals," one user said.
"They should at least use a husky to pretend to be a wolf," another uttered.
Liu Suya, the zoo's chief, claimed the Tibetan mastiff was only temporarily held in the cage for safety reasons and that it was owned by one of the zoo employees.
"The African lions will be back. They went to another zoo to breed."
For whatever the reasons, a roar of a lion sounds like this:
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