The People’s Park of Luohe, which is located within the central province of Henan, put a Tibetan Mastiff pooch on show and claimed it was one of the feared animals, but bosses came unstuck when the canine started barking.
A visitor, who is only known by her surname Liu, complained after her son noticed the so-called African lion was in fact a dog.
She told the told Beijing Youth Daily: “The zoo is absolutely cheating.
“They are trying to disguise the dogs as lions.”
However, Suya, chief of the zoo’s animals department, claimed the pooch was only being used temporarily.
The zoo has since reportedly been discovered using another dog as a so-called wolf and a white fox as leopard.