The zoo in the People’s Park of Luohe is facing a barrage of criticism after its African lion was revealed to not be a lion at all but a dog.

The dog in question is a Tibetan mastiff, which is quite big but really doesn’t look much like a lion, African or otherwise. So how did people realise that they were being misled?

Apart from using their eyes, visitors also heard the big cat bark, which clearly gave the game away somewhat.

%TNT Magazine% lion dog china zoo

“The zoo is absolutely cheating us,” one disappointed customer told Beijing Youth Daily newspaper.

“They are trying to disguise the dogs as lions.”

A spokesperson for the zoo claimed that they do have a lion but that it had been moved elsewhere in the zoo temporarily and that the dog was only being housed there for safety reasons.

Photo: via Thinkstock and Weibo