Visitors at a Cairo, Egypt zoo recently caught a rare sight.
That’s because the zoo is being accused of painting a donkey with stripes and trying to pass it off a zebra.
The allegations come after student Mahmoud Sarhan posted a picture of the animal at Cairo’s International Garden municipal park on Facebook.
Major General Mohammed Sultan told extranews.tv that the zebra is real and that the zoo’s animals are well taken care of and regularly inspected.
Sarhan, however, says he saw two painted donkeys at their zoo.
He says he recognized the paint because he has a background in art and the stripes were smudged all over the donkey’s body and face.
“The stupidity has reached in the country that they brought a local donkey and painted it to look like a zebra,” Sarhan wrote in Arabic on Facebook.
Extranews.tv interviewed two veterinarians who both said that the “zebra” shown in Sarhan’s pictures is a donkey.
Zebras have dark black nose and mouth areas and their lines run parallel.
The story has also captured the attention of animal rights groups People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
“No reputable animal-care facility would subject skittish animals like donkeys to the stress of being restrained and sprayed with chemicals like paint, which could cause a painful allergic reaction,” PETA wrote on its website.
The internet is also having a field day with this story.
“OMG. Egypt zoo tries to pass painted donkey off as zebra,” wrote one person on Twitter.
“It’s a uhh… zonkey?” one person wrote.
Apparently, this is nothing new in the zoo business.
“A zoo in Gaza reportedly did the same thing in 2009. Its officials’ only justification was that they couldn’t acquire actual zebras because of an Israeli blockade,” PETA wrote on their website.
“In 2013, a Chinese zoo tried to pass a dog off as a lion. It was discovered that the actual lion had been temporarily removed from the enclosure—and replaced with a “hairy” Tibetan mastiff—in order to be bred so that more wild animals could be raised in captivity, doomed to suffer while being confined and used for human entertainment.”
PETA hopes that Cairo authorites will investigate the matter and help provide justice and safe conditions. for the animals.
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They are urging people not to visit roadside zoos.
“If roadside zoos wanted to prioritize animal welfare, they wouldn’t paint or breed animals. We’re urging everyone who cares about wildlife to support organizations that protect animals in their natural homes and avoid any facility that keeps them captive in order to turn a profit.”
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