Chinese zoo dyes dogs black and white to pass them off as pandas

By Minh Nga   May 6, 2024 | 10:09 pm PT
A zoo in China's Jiangsu Province has garnered unwanted attention on social media for painting chow chow dogs and claiming them to be "panda dogs."

A ticket from Taizhou Zoo posted on Chinese social media site Weibo shows the animal advertised as a new species.

The "panda dogs" were available for public viewing during the Labor Day holidays from May 1 to 5, and tens of thousands of people flocked to see them daily, Jiupai News reported.

Despite the animals' striking resemblance to giant pandas, some found it strange that they shook their heads like dogs. Nevertheless, some mistook them for real pandas.

A video of the two "panda dogs" posted on Chinese social media site Weibo.

But the zoo faced criticism, with people accusing it of deceiving visitors.

It did put up a sign making clear that "panda dogs" were not a panda species.

The only catch was that it was inside the zoo, and visitors could see it only after buying tickets.

According to what written on the signboard, "panda dogs are not an actual dog breed."

"They are rather pet dogs that have been groomed to look like pandas or that were born with coat patterns similar to those of pandas. Such canines will often have a white undercoat with black markings around the eye rims and ears, mimicking the facial features of a giant panda," a Strait Times report cited that board.

A zoo worker told the media that the initiative was meant to attract visitors during the holidays.

The zoo has yet to get actual giant pandas since it is too small for them, he said.

Zoo officials reportedly ensured that the dyes used on the dogs was safe and non-toxic.

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