A zoo in Xianning, Central China’s Hubei Province raised suspicion this week after it was caught deceving people for substituting a dog as a wolf. Footages a visitor filmed were doing the rounds on social media.He captured a canine that resembled a Rottweiler lying on its side in captivity and said to the animal: “Woof! Are you a wolf?” in a short video that has since gone viral.
This sparked lots of jokes and memes on the internet but also initiated a serious conversation on whether zoos are an integral amenity in a post-Covid era, with people voicing concern about their maintenance.Hundereds of netizens joked that the zoo should have used a husky dog, as it’s barely distinguishable a real wolf.The reason for the dog being kept was that the real wolf had passed away. The dog used in its place had been brought up as a watchdog to prevent trespassers from straying into the yard.
Animal rights activists have been severly critical of zoos in China. A lot of stories in the internet point to the abysmal conditions and the ill-treatment of animals at various zoos in China.Animal protection laws don’t apply much in China.Covid-19 pandemic is said to have led to a clampdown in such activities since the hunting, trading or eating of wild animals could cause various diseases.
Curious cases of animals being substituted
The case of dog being substituted for wolf is not a one-off incident in China.Donkeys have been painted to look like zebras. In a similar video footage a domestic dog was shown put in a wolf enclosure at the Jiufengshan Forest Park in the nearby city of Wuhan in 2019. A zoo in southern Guangxi kept inflatable Penguins for real one’s in 2017. A Tibetan mastiff was passed off as an African cat at a zoo in Zhongyuan in 2013. In April 2020 a heart-wrenching video had shown a white Bengal captive tiger appearing depressed as it walked in circles round and round inside a tiny confinement at a Chinese zoo.