Chinese zoo 'tries to pass dog off as wolf' in cage after animal dies of old age

One zoo in China has been charged with trying to pass a dog off as a wolf.

A visitor to Xiangwushan Zoo in Xianning, Hubei Province, was amused to find what looks like a rottweiler in the animal enclosure.

The brown and black puppy looks docile and lies on its side in the visitor video, which has since gone viral.

“Woof! Are you a wolf?” The man wrote in a caption.

The video shows a red sign that says “The wolf is here”.

Mr. Xu, who filmed the footage, said he asked the staff why there was a dog in the wolf’s enclosure.

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They told him the wolf “died of old age,” Beijing News reported.

Zoo officials later confirmed the mutt was only kept temporarily after its distant cousin’s death.

The zoo said that after the wolf died, the cage was empty and there was no place for the dog, so the cage became his new home as the wolf’s heir.

The local forest department said they will conduct an inspection.

The video sparked a mixture of sadness and ridicule online.

Chinese zoo 'tries to pass dog off as wolf' in cage after animal dies of old age 1

The dog stood up for the park's late wolf

“At least get a husky,” one person wrote of Weibo while another said they felt “a little sad.”

Another user wrote, “Have the people in town never seen a dog?”

Chinese zoo 'tries to pass dog off as wolf' in cage after animal dies of old age 2

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Some have speculated that the animal swap was triggered by financial difficulties on behalf of the zoo.

The park costs 15 yuan (£ 1.70) and also holds lions and tigers.

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