A zoo in the People Park of Luohe, in the central province of Henan, China has come under fire for disguising a hairy dog as an African lion. According to the Beijing Youth Daily, the zoo placed a Tibetan Mastiff, a large and long-haired breed of dog, in a cage labelled ‘African lion‘.
The zoo’s misconduct came to light when a customer surnamed Liu wanted to show her son different sounds animals made -but he pointed out that the animal in the cage labelled ‘African lion’ was barking. Liu, who had paid 15 yuan (R25) for the ticket, was quoted by the Chinese newspaper voicing her displeasure with the zoo’s service: ” The zoo is absolutely cheating us. They are trying to disguise the dogs as lions.”
The dog is not the only animal that has been put in the wrong cage in the zoo. Two coypu rodents are housed in a snake’s cage while a white fox has been placed in a leopard’s den, and another dog in a wolf pen.
Meanwhile, the chief of the park’s animal department, Liu Suya, was quick to defend the zoo. Suya said that while the zoo does have an African lion, it had been taken to a breeding facility, and the dog, which belonged to an employee, had been temporarily housed in the zoo over safety concerns.
The incident has sparked controversy in the country’s social media. Users on Sina Weibo, a Chinese social network, vented their disappointment with the zoo’s conduct. “This is not funny at all. It’s sad for both the zoo and the animals,” said one of the users.
Original source: Sapa-AFP
Fraud or negligence?
It is possible to justify placing one species in the wrong cage as human error (although you have to be really disturbed to do that). Putting four animals in the wrong cages in a zoo, an animal welfare which charges customers to view the animals, however, can be explained in only one of two ways: pure negligence or fraud!
What do you think this says about animal welfare and ethics at the zoo? Share your thoughts on the comments section.
Main image by sunny