Chinese zoo ‘pretended’ golden retriever in cage was an African lion

A Chinese zoo has been accused of keeping a caged golden retriever in an enclosure but stating it was an African lion.

But the zoo itself has furiously denied the accusation, saying it does have lions elsewhere in the zoo and insisting it has not misled any customers.

A man, who has only been identified by his surname Tang, took his child to visit Yuanjiashan Zoo in Xichang, Sichuan, China, on Saturday and has shared a video of his experience online which has since been widely shared within the country.

“At first, we thought we had gone to the wrong place. But after walking around the cage, we realised it is where the lion should be housed,” Tang said in the video.

“Is that an African lion? Is it because it hasn’t grown up yet? It looks familiar to me,” he joked.

In the video, a worker of the zoo tells Tang that the cage had housed a lion in the past, however, the animal had been moved to another location.

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

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But, Tang said that he did not accept this explanation and has accused the zoo of selling tickets promoting lions but that he found no lions anywhere else in the zoo.

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

Global Times reports that the lost-looking dog actually belongs to the owner of the zoo, which has since apologised and said that it now has lions elsewhere at the venue.

“This cage used to be for an African lion, but now it's been re-designated as one for a golden retriever,” a staff member said.

It is also reported that signs above the enclosure the zoo owner's dog is sometimes kept in have been removed after the video was shared online.

The pooch is not the only doggo passing off as another animal recently after an adorable puppy looked unrecognisable when she was taken for a haircut and went from scruffy koala to adorable lapdog.

Footage shows the dog is only too eager to go to the groomers and bounds into the room, sniffing the other dogs and wagging her tail with happiness.

She then patiently sits on a chair while her fur is cut with scissors.

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