Zee Media Bureau/Ajith Vijay Kumar
New Delhi: Chinese ingenuity touched a new peak when a zoo in central China tried to pass off a hairy dog as an African lion!
Visitors to the People’s Park Zoo in the city of Luohe in Henan Province, who had paid 15 yuan ($2.45) as entry fee, were shocked and angered when the animal inside the cage African lion started barking!
On closer scrutiny, they realised that the ‘African lion’ was actually a Tibetan mastiff -- a large, hairy breed of dog.
And it was not just about the African lion, three other species were found to be housed incorrectly - another dog in a wolf pen, a white fox in a leopard`s den and two coypu rodents in a snake`s cage.
State-run Beijing Youth Daily quoted a woman who visited the zoo with his son as saying: “The zoo is absolutely cheating us. They are trying to disguise the dogs as lions.”
However, a park administrator told the Chinese media that the zoo actually does have a lion and a leopard, but they had been temporarily moved to a separate breeding facility. But he failed to give any credible explanation about the mismatch.
The ‘Made-in-China’ juggernaut which started out by flooding global markets with cheap products and imitations has, over the years, ‘excelled’ in the art. The knock-offs now range from fake Apple stores, replicas of Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower and Pyramid to an entire Austrian village.
Last heard: The zoo has shut down temporarily for ‘rectification’.