Oh those crazy Chinese! What will they do next!
Sorry, that was a little bit racist of me, wasn't it. But in my defense, we've already established that I do that from time to time [link]. Mea culpa, and all that jazz.
But that in no way lessens the kookiness of today's story [link]. Apparently a zoo in the province of Henan is advertising the fact that they have an African lion on display. Awesome! It's always nice to be able to go to the zoo and see the truly exotic animals, isn't it. I was always so disappointed as a child when I was told we were going to the zoo and all I'd end up seeing were a few goats and maybe a kangaroo (and no, kangaroos are not exotic here, they're a dime a dozen).
So of course people flocked to the zoo to see their newest attraction. And from all reports they were very impressed by what they saw, a majestic lion sunning itself in the enclosure.
At least, they were until the lion started barking.
Yep, it turns out that the so called African Lion was actually a Tibetan Mastiff that had been put in the enclosure, presumably because it's cheaper and easier than actually getting a lion. And lets face it, the only other option is that the zoo owners were fooled into purchasing a puppy dog for their lion exhibit.
I suppose it's possible in this day and age to not be able to tell the difference between a lion and a dog ... not very likely, but possible.
It kind of reminds me of this taxidermied lion I read about once that's on display in Gripsholm's Castle in Sweden. Apparently back in the 1700's the King of Sweden was given a lion and after it died he decided to have it stuffed, presumably to it could continue to terrorise the children of the land.
Well he was certainly successful in that. It turns out that if you're going to have your dead lion stuffed, it's probably best not to give it to someone who's never actually seen a lion before. Just look at the picture! Horrifying!