Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Why you should always read the fine print when trading in exotic animals...

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!

38 comments:

  1. Is that a real "Swedish" lion or a muppet? I'm guessing the latter. ;)

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  2. Oh, I'm stealing that stupid headline.

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  3. Lions, Tigers, Bears AND Dogs. Same thing really. Just ask Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.

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    1. Hmm, the guy who went into a lion enclosure reading bible quotes because he thought god would protect him, only to be torn apart, might disagree.

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  4. This is terrible! Wow. A mastiff masquerading as a lion.

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    1. It's terrible that there are actually people who didn't realise until it barked!

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  5. They're pretty cool dogs but hardly worthy of an exhibit. Funny blog you have here.
    +followed

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    1. I would have thought a kennel and a bowl of doggie treats would have been more appropriate.

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  6. Well. better a dog in captivity than a poor lion accustomed to being free. Maybe we should take a closer look at those panda bears China has been sending here. Maybe they're just big opossums.

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    1. Can you imagine how far it might go?

      "Wait a minute, that's not an elephant! That's just two guys covered in a grey sheet!"

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  7. When my kids were small, I considered selling them to a zoo where the sign would probably have read "Alien Beings"!!

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  8. Well, the Chinese do have those statues called Fu Temple Dogs which are really lions, so perhaps the words "dog" and "lion" are used interchangeably in their culture? It's the only explanation I can think of apart from blatant fraud, of course.

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    1. LOL! That's pretty generous of you. I went right for fraud.

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  9. I have seen online where someone has had their dog shaved like a lion and neighbors reported it, thinking it was a lion. Not even close in size, but I guess if you seen a lion walking down the street, not many people would be sticking around to take a second look.

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    1. I remember reading about that. I couldn't help wondering how they made the mistake, but I guess at a glance, if you didn't stick around to confirm, I could see how you could make the mistake.

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  10. put the lion in the petting zoo!

    but how can you mistake that dog for a lion? maybe if they only ever saw the lion king, and he was really far away...hmm

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    1. Maybe the dog feels like a lion on the inside. I don't want to enforce my species norms on it or anything.

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  11. Lion, fluffy dog, either way it's a cute and cuddly animal baby! ^_^

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    1. Well at least with a dog you could go up and hug it, I suppose there is that benefit. I just hope they didn't pay too much for it.

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  12. I saw some of the pictures and the dog was pretty cute but I can't believe that anyone ever would of thought it would be mistaken for a lion. Crazy!!

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    1. I'm not sure how the PUBLIC mistook it for a lion until it started to bark! How far away were they?

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  13. The Chinese must be incredibly gullible...(or they think we are).

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    1. And they have so many statues of lions, you'd think they'd be able to recognise one.

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  14. This reminded me of what is probably my favorite online article ever.
    http://shine.yahoo.com/pets/-man-buys-toy-poodles--learns-they’re-ferrets-on-steroids-212324197.html

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  15. Hi Kellie .. interesting story .. and of course back in the 1740s.. I bet most people had never seen a live lion ... oh dear!! To both stories .. sad, but fun ... Hilary

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    1. That's true, I suppose I'm being a bit harsh to the poor taxidermist. If he'd never seen one how could he have known that they generally don't have a Gene Simmonds tongue ;P

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  16. I saw this story and laughed. But you really do have to admire their imagination and complete disregard for the fact that the internet exists and people can do an image search of what a real lion looks like. Also, were the royal taxidermists super drunk or high when they did that?

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    1. LOL! I like to think they were employing creative license. Artists and their kooky ways.

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  17. What the hell?? Seriously they didn't think this dog would bark just once??? Kooky doesn't even begin to describe it.. And that stuffed lion??? Terrifying! Mental note - check into undertakers whilst planning for the future..

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    1. LOL! Or if you planned to have yourself stuffed, make sure you get references! Don't make the same mistake as that French guy!

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  18. I hope they didn't send a lion to a family that was looking to add a pet dog to the family.

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    1. Oh god, I hadn't thought of that.

      "... and in other news, an entire family was wiped out today by a rogue lion."

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  19. Sigh. Well, so much a for truth in advertising.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!
    desert.epiphanies@sasktel.net
    Bears Noting
    Life in the Urban Forest (poetry)

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  20. It reminds me of the movie Fierce Creatures where Kevin Klein's characters tries to pass off an electronic panda for the real thing in a zoo. Of course it is acceptable in a comedy. :)

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