Zoo sparks outrage in China after claiming dog is lion

A zoo in China has sparked outrage after claiming that a dog was an African lion, reports the Chinese state run news agency the Beijing Youth Daily.

Visitors became suspicious when the African lion at the zoo in Henan province started barking.

Library picture of a man holding up his Tibetan mastiff. Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

Visitors to the zoo realised that the animal was in fact a Tibetan mastiff, and that other exhibits at the zoo were not what they were labelled.

Three other species housed incorrectly included two coypu rodents in a snake's cage, a white fox in a leopard's den, and another dog in a wolf pen.

A spokesman for the zoo told local reporters that the African lion had been transported to a breeding facility and that they had used the dog so that visitors "would not be disappointed".

He said the signs would now be changed to reflect the animal's correct species.