Posted: 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013
By Rick Couri
It was big, fuzzy, and looked muscular, but it barked.
That was the first giveaway that the animal the Peoples park zoo was trying to pass off wasn’t a bear at all.
The zoo put a Tibetan mastiff in the bear enclosure and just crossed their fingers hoping no one would notice.
AFP reports that wasn’t the only animal playing another role at the Luohe, China zoo.
There was also a dog “posing” as a wolf, Another dog was labeled a wolf, a white fox stood in for a leopard, and there were two rats in the snake's cage. OK, that could have just been an early lunch for a snake if there had been one around, but there wasn’t.
The zoo did have an excuse for the slight of hand.
They says their lion was busy at a breeding farm and the mastiff was being kept there “for safety reasons.”
Reports from The South China Morning Post says a park spokesman had a more complete explanation.
“The wolves are there. But the wolf is somewhere else in the pen and the dog is a pet. The African lions will be back. They went to another zoo to breed."
China's version of Twitter, Sina Weibo lit up with responses like "they should at least use a husky to pretend to be a wolf."