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    Zoo Disguises Dog as Lion

    Atendees gather at a stage where Tibetan mastiff dogs are displayed for sale at a mastiff show in Baoding, Hebei province, south of Beijing on March 9, 2013. Fetching prices around 750,000 USD, mastiffs have become a prized status-symbol amongst China's wealthy, with rich buyers across the country sending prices skyrocketing. Owners say the mastiffs, descendents of dogs used for hunting by nomadic tribes in central Asia and Tibet are fiercely loyal and protective. Breeders still travel to the Himalayan plateau to collect young puppies, although many are unable to adjust to the low altitudes and die during the journey. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones        (Photo credit should read Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

    Ed Jones/AFP/Getty

    A Chinese zoo in the People's Park to Luohe has come under fire for attempting to pass off a dog as an African lion--a plan that was going swimmingly until the dog started barking. The "lion" turned out to be a zoo staffer's Tibetan mastiff, a large, long-haired breed of dog, that was subbing in while the lion was taken to a breeding facility. "The zoo is absolutely cheating us," a customer with the last name Liu told a Chinese newspaper. Customers apparently paid 15 yuan ($2.45) per ticket and were also treated to the sight of another dog passing off as a wolf, a white fox in a leopard's den and two coypu rodents in a snake's cage. 

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