Chinese zoo dyes dogs black and white to fool visitors into seeing pandas

A zoo in China’s Taizhou city unveiled a new exhibition on May 1, featuring “panda dogs”, which later turned out to be Chow Chow dogs dyed black and white to resemble pandas.

The authorities at the zoo were heavily slammed after videos of the dogs were widely shared on social media.

According to a report with Sky News, the zoo authorities also charged visitors 20 yuan (231.08 Rs in Indian currency) to watch the exhibition.

Later, the visitors noticed the animals were Chow Chows – a dog breed known for its thick double coat of fur from northern China. The dogs had been dyed to resemble pandas.

However, a zoo worker denied such accusations and told The Global Times that this was “just a new display” they offered to visitors.

He also said the zoo authorities did not charge anything extra.

“We are not charging extra. The wording featuring chow chow dogs is correct and exactly describes what they are, so we are not cheating our visitors,” he told The Global Times.

Per Jam Press, a zoo spokesperson also defended the panda exhibit by saying: “People also dye their hair. Natural dye can be used on dogs if they have long fur. There are no panda bears at the zoo, and we wanted to do this as a result,” the report said.

This was not the first time a zoo in China had been accused of faking animals.

Earlier, in 2023, Hangzhou Zoo denied claims some of its bears were people in costumes.

The development came after a clip of a Malaysian sun bear – named Angela – walking on its hind legs went viral and sparked speculation that the animal was a human being in a badly-fitting bear suit.

Published By:

Vani Mehrotra

Published On:

May 10, 2024

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