New China zoo goes viral after 'replacing' African lion with confused golden retriever

Good doggo, even when it a big cat.

Nyi Nyi Thet | March 31, 2021, 10:08 PM

A new zoo in Xichang gained international attention thanks to their African lion exhibit.

Here is the sign outside the cage:

Screenshot from video in China Press

And here it is, the king of the jungle:

Image via

The eyes of one of nature's greatest killing machines:


The backlash was swift.

According to SCMP, who cited the original video, a worker from the zoo insisted that the cage had indeed housed a lion previously, however, "the animal had been moved to another location".

The sign, according to them, had not been taken down yet.

The man who filmed the video however was not buying it, saying there had been no other lions at the zoo.

Other reactions from netizens, as captured by Global Times, generally leaned towards ridicule:

“Dogs are so busy replacing other animals in zoos. I recalled the dog that was substituted for a wolf in another Chinese zoo,” one netizen said on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

Global Times further reported that the dog was purportedly the owner's pet, and the African lion cage had been repurposed to house it.

The zoo has since apologised, and insists there are now lions in the zoo.

Image from China Press vid