Egyptian zoo tries to fool people by painting donkeys to look like zebras
A tourist who visited one of the zoo realized that the donkey was painted to look like a zebra but the owner denies this.
An Egyptian zoo tried to pass off donkeys as zebras by painting stripes on them. The subterfuge worked, till a local student spotted the two “zebras” at Cairo’s International Garden municipal park last week and took to Facebook to post pictures of what according to the zoo are "zebras".
The photo showed the black strips smudged across the faces of the donkeys. However, the makeup wasn't the only giveaway of this fraud. The picture showed that the animal had pointy ears, much like the ones a donkey has rather than zebra’s short ones. The animals also lacked a zebra's black snout.
As reported by New York Post, several vets confirmed that the animals are indeed donkeys. They pointed out that the paint job is pretty shabby as real zebra stripes are straighter and more consistent.
But zoo director Mohamed Sultan insisted to local media that they are in fact zebras. However, as bizarre as this may sound, this is not the only instance where a zoo has used another animal in order to convince people that they are something else. Back in 2009, a zoo in Gaza reportedly did the same thing. As reported by Peta, the owner of the zoo justified it by saying they couldn’t acquire actual zebras because of an Israeli blockade.
At the same time, he added that the children did not know the difference and would call it a zebra without thinking. To keep them happy, the zookeeper believed it was alright to go with the fraud. One of the most surprising switches between animals was when a Chinese zoo tried to pass a dog off as a lion.
In 2013, it was reported that the actual lion had been temporarily removed from the enclosure. The lion, just like any other zoo was one of the main attractions and the zoo did not want the public to be disappointed.
In order to prevent that from happening, they decided to take matters in their own hand as they replaced the lion with a “hairy” Tibetan mastiff. It was reported that the lion was taken away for breeding so that more wild animals could be raised in captivity and could be used for entertainment in the zoo.
Peta also issued a statement urging people to not visit the roadside zoo as they are not doing any good to the animals that are kept there. The organization states that the wild animals need to be under proper care and nourishment which is impossible for them to get from roadside zoos.
"If roadside zoos wanted to prioritize animal welfare, they wouldn’t paint or breed animals. We’re urging everyone who cares about wildlife to support organizations that protect animals in their natural homes and avoid any facility that keeps them captive in order to turn a profit," they noted.