Zoo visitors are barking mad about hilariously false advertisement for lion's enclosure

Xichang, China - Visitors to a zoo in China did not get what they paid for when they heard an unexpected bark instead of a roar coming from the lion's den.

A Chinese zoo allegedly passed off a golden retriever as a lion to lure visitors (stock image).
A Chinese zoo allegedly passed off a golden retriever as a lion to lure visitors (stock image).  © Collage: 123rf/Nilanjan Bhattacharya & 123rf/marinini

A man named Tang couldn't wait to bring his son on a visit to the Yuanjiashan Zoo in Xichang, China.

Seeing the zoo's advertised highlight – the African lions – was at the top of their must-see list.

But when they arrived at the lion's enclosure on Saturday, they could hardly believe their eyes.

Cat's hysterical reaction to human in bath has TikTokers in tears
Cats Cat's hysterical reaction to human in bath has TikTokers in tears

What kind of strange lion was that?

"At first, we thought we had gone to the wrong place," Tang explained. "But after walking around the cage, we realized it is where the lion should be housed."

Funny enough, the animal inside looked nothing like the King of the Jungle!

"Is it because it hasn’t grown up yet?" joked the Chinese father.

Tang made a video of the discovery that has been widely shared on the internet and made countless people shake their heads.

Behind the bars of the enclosure was definitely not an African wild cat – but a tame, trusty golden retriever!

Zoo reacts to accusations

The Yuanjiashan Zoo was not pleased with the sudden attention that has come from the viral hit. Many have accused the zoo of faking the lions to attract more visitors.

“We are adjusting the animals’ accommodations, with the lion’s sign not taken down [from the cage] yet,” said a Zookeeper in Tang's video.

The zoo has also said that the dog belongs to the property's owner, and that the lions can now be seen in another part of the zoo.

But intentional or not, Tang told the Daily Star that he and his child are hugely disappointed.

“The money for the ticket is a small deal," he said. "What matters [to] me more is that I don’t know how to explain the current situation to my kid."

Cover photo: Collage: 123rf/Nilanjan Bhattacharya & 123rf/marinini

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