I thought you might be unhappy with me if you knew I knew about a zoo in China that was trying to pass off a big, fluffy dog as a lion and was keeping this little bit of ha-ha to myself. So, here you go:
It seems the People’s Park of Luohe in the central province of Henan has been defrauding visitors by populating the zoo with impostor creatures: a white fox and a mongrel for leopards, a rat plus some sea cucumbers for snakes. And a Tibetan Mastiff for an “African lion.”
Try to imagine mom’s surprise when she and her impressionable boy heard the ferocious king of the jungle…bark. “I had my young son with me,” she told a reporter, “so I tried to play along and told him it was a special kind of lion. But then the dog barked and he knew straight away what it was and that I’d lied to him. How can they tell such dreadful tales and expect to get away with it?”
They could because they did, until the woof happened, that is. Turns out it costs a lot to maintain a lion in captivity, what with the 25 pounds of food it needs a day (make that the meat of a horse with her tail) and the rare veterinarian who actually knows how to care for a big cat without being swallowed whole. Why, you could put your head and neck inside the mouth of a Tibetan Mastiff, and afterwards she’d lick your hand. Also, for peanuts a day you could throw down a cup or two of Purina and be done with it.
Then, there are other cases elsewhere in China of dogs being painted black and white so they look like pandas. I don’t make these things up.