1. The People’s Park Zoo in Luohe, Henan, made international headlines Thursday after Chinese newspapers reported the zoo was trying to disguise a dog as an African lion.
2. The “lion” was really a Tibetan mastiff. Visitors reportedly called the zoo’s bluff when they heard the animal bark.
A Tibetan mastiff dog at a mastiff show in Baoding, Hebei province, south of Beijing on March 9, 2013.
3. “The African lions will be back. They went to another zoo to breed,” an administrator at the People’s Park Zoo explained to the Oriental Daily.
4. Ticket buyers were outraged. “To use a dog to impersonate a lion is definitely an insult to tourists,” a visitor named Sharon Liu told reporters. “The zoo is absolutely cheating us.”
5. Tibetan mastiffs are hugely popular in China, selling for as much as $750,000. Puppies are smuggled in from the Himalayan plateau, despite many veterinarians arguing that the huge dogs are “unsuitable” as household pets in the climate.
Tibetan mastiff puppies!
6. They’re known for being difficult to train, but Tibetan mastiffs are also among the “most reliable guard dogs around.”
7. More mistaken identity at the People’s Park Zoo, via users on Sina Weibo:
- [Florida is bracing for tropical storm Erika, which is expected to hit the stat on Monday after tearing through Caribbean islands. At least 20 people have been killed. ›] (http://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniemcneal/at-least-5-people-are-missing-after-tropical-storm-erika-thr)
- And on the same day 10 years later, former U.S. President George W. Bush toured New Orleans on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. ›
- Owen Labrie was found not guilty of felony sexual assault charges stemming from a 15-year-old former student's accusations that he raped her at St. Paul's School. ›