Another Chinese zoo has been slammed for trying to pass off a dog as a wild animal and putting it in a cage.
The dog is seen in an enclosure with a sign saying it is a wolf at the Jiufeng Forest Zoo in Wuhan, which is the capital of Hubei Province in the People’s Republic of China.
Ripped-off visitors posted images of the ‘wolf’ looking lonely and bored in its enclosure under a sign that reads Canis lupus lupus, which is the formal name for the Eurasian wolf.
Also known as the common wolf, it is native to Europe and the Eurasian Steppe, but as visitors pointed out, the yellow dog in the enclosure looks nothing like it.
When the complaints emerged, the zoo insisted that there was also a real wolf in the enclosure, but it often did not come out, as it had been abandoned by the rest of its pack. The zoo said it had provided the dog to keep the wolf company.
It added that the dog was a female and that it had become a good friend and companion for the lonely wolf since it lost its pack.
The zoo also added, however, that people did not need to be concerned, as there was no risk to the dog, which had actually proved to be dominant over the wolf, which even let the dog feed first.
It is not the first time Chinese zoos have been caught passing domestic animals like dogs off as zoo creatures.
In March last year, another zoo in China admitted that it was using a dog after its only remaining wolf died.
The Xiangwushan Zoo admitted that it decided to use a dog because it was cheaper, and as it is a close relative of the wolf, people were not being ripped off, it said.
However, not many people were fooled, as the zoo had replaced the dead wolf in the cage with a Rottweiler, which annoyed visitors to the zoo in the city of Xianning, also in Hubei Province.
Images of the dog were shared online alongside a red sign reading ‘The wolf is here’ in Chinese.