Egyptian Zoo Accused of Disguising Donkey as Zebra

A zoo in Cairo is facing criticism from visitors who allege a pair of zebras -- not the ones pictured here -- are actually donkeys painted with black and white stripes. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Bill Greenblatt/UPI

On a trip to Cairo’s International Garden municipal park, Mahmoud Sarhan spotted something a little bit strange about their zebra’s stripes.

Sarhan took pictures of the animal, whose stripes were smudged across its face, and smeared unevenly in other places. Others on social media pointed out the beast’s long floppy ears—zebras have short, rounded ones.

This is not the first attempt by a zoo to market dubious specimens to unsuspecting visitors. One Gaza zoo tried this same donkey/zebra trick in 2009, while another put stuffed animals in their exhibit in place of live ones. In 2013, a Henan province zoo in China tried to pass off a Tibetan mastiff as a lion, and in 2017 another one put inflatable penguins in their enclosure.

According to the BBC, zoo director Mohamed Sultan has insisted that the animals are not fake. He may be in for a surprise—zebra stripes are shaped differently, and don’t come off on your hand when you touch them.

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