Chinese Zoo Tries to Pass Rottweiler Dog Off as Wolf

A zoo in Xianning, Central China, has sparked outrage on social media after it was revealed that it had tried to pass off a Rottweiler as a wolf.

Footage showing a visitor to the Xiangwushan Zoo in Xianning, Hubei province, visiting the wolf enclosure only to find a Rottweiler resting inside went viral on Chinese social media last week. The man who recorded the video, a certain Mr. Xu, can be heard saying “Woof! Are you a wolf?” to the dog, which doesn’t seem to concerned with the fact that it looks nothing like a wolf. Xu later told Chinese journalists that he asked the zoo staff about the animal, and they told him that they used to have an actual age, but it died of old age.


A zoo employee confirmed to Chinese publication Global Times that there was indeed a dog in the wolf’s enclosure, but added that the animal was only kept there temporarily. The Rottweiler was apparently a watchdog used to prevent strangers trespassing into the yard.

“There indeed was a wolf,” a member of the staff said, adding that it had died of old age, and that the zoo didn’t have enough visitors to keep the zoo up and running well.

After Mr. Xu’s video went viral online, the local forestry bureau ordered the Xiangwushan Zoo to take down the the wolf enclosure sign, so as not to confuse visitors.

Online, reactions to the videos were mixed, with some people declaring themselves outraged by the zoo’s tactics, other joking that they were glad the dog wasn’t the wolf’s dinner, and a few saying that the staff could have at least used a husky, which at least somewhat resembles a wolf.

Interestingly, another Chinese zoo did try to pass off a husky dog as a wolf a few years back. And it wasn’t the only time a zoo tried to fake its animals. Back in 2018, we wrote about an Egyptian zoo that tried to pass off donkeys as zebras, by painting them white with black stripes.

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