A zoo in China which thought it could simply pass off a husky as a wolf was exposed after someone noticed the deception and posted a video of it online. Footage showing a dog injured and limping inside a wolf enclosure in Shandong zoo has since sparked outrage among concerned netizens.
“It has a Husky-Alaskan-mix look, wandering lamely within the enclosure. It’s dangerous to put a dog among wolves, which are so sensitive to their own territories,” said Wang, the man who posted the clip on social media site Weibo. He further suggested the animal may have been bitten by the other wolves because it doesn’t fit in.
Chinese netizens reacted negatively to the footage, with some going as far as associate the video with China’s Yulin Dog Meat Festival, where dogs are butchered to be eaten.
Many pointed out that dogs and wolves should not be placed in the same cage, citing the practice as a form of animal cruelty.
In response to the outrage, the zoo made a public statement, explaining that the dog arrived with the wolves when they were imported, reported People’s Daily.
“It is true that we keep a Siberian husky in our wolf den, and the dog was introduced to the zoo along with the wolves to create more fun for tourists. The dog is also respected among the wolves,” read a statement released by the zoo.
It stated further that the animals have been getting along well as they have been living together in the same enclosure for more than two months. The zoo also clarified that the dog’s injury was caused but by the dog scratching itself at a metal bar in the enclosure and not by the wolves.
According to zoo officials, the dog, which they later claim to be a husky-wolf hybrid, has been removed from the wolf enclosure and is now under medical attention.