Lion in China zoo goes viral for fringe, zookeepers deny giving it haircut

Lion King or Tiger King?

Karen Lui | May 30, 2022, 01:48 PM

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A lion residing at the Guangzhou Zoo went viral recently for sporting a strange hairstyle.

On May 28, a visitor to the Guangzhou zoo shared her pictures of the lion on her Little Red Book (Xiaohongshu) page.

Bad mane day?

The lion's mane appeared to have taken on the shape of a choppy fringe over its forehead.

Photo by 我跑不动了 on Little Red Book.

The user shared more pictures of this bizarre "lion cut".

One netizen remarked that the fringe does not do any favours for the lion as it does not help maintain its majestic image.

It does look quite familiar...

Joe Exotic from "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness". Photo via Wikipedia.

Photo by 我跑不动了 on Little Red Book.

According to a netizen who claimed to have seen the lion less than a week ago, the lion did not have a fringe then.

Photo by 我跑不动了 on Little Red Book.

The user who posted the pictures speculated that the zookeepers were the ones who gave him the strange hairstyle.

Photo by 我跑不动了 on Little Red Book.

One netizen questioned if the lion was very docile or if the zookeepers felt particularly gutsy for this alleged haircut to be done.

She added that cutting alone is not sufficient to achieve this look, which would need a combination of washing, cutting, and blowdrying to have this effect.

In response to queries by a Guangdong media outlet, an employee at the zoo clarified that the zookeepers would never dare to give the lion a haircut and this hairstyle is due to the humidity in Guangzhou.

Photo by 我跑不动了 on Little Red Book.

She elaborated that the lion grooms itself how a cat does — by licking its paws and pawing its fur.

As a result, the appearance of the lion's mane might undergo small changes at times, she added.

For your reference, here's what a lion's mane typically looks like:

Photo by Maurits Bausenhart on Unsplash.

Top images by 我跑不动了 on Little Red Book.