A zoo in Egypt is accused of trying to fool visitors by painting zebra stripes on a donkey, CNN reports.
Mahmoud Sarhan, 18, said he was visiting the International Garden, a municipal park in Cairo, when he spotted a wolf in sheep’s clothing–or in this case a donkey in zebra stripes.
Sarhan noted the zebra’s ears looked a little bigger than usual and its snout was slightly lighter than that of your typical zebra. What appeared to be black paint had melted on the donkey’s face.
After Sarhan’s photos of the suspicious zebra went viral, the zoo’s director went on a local radio show and denied the zebra was fake.
“The zebra is real and not painted,” Mohammed Sultan told Egypt’s Youm 7 news channel, adding that the animals are well taken care of and are inspected regularly.
But a local vet told Cairo-based ExtraNews.TV that a zebra’s snout should be black and the stripes should be more consistent and parallel, according to the BBC.
PETA also weighed in on the debate.
“No reputable animal care facility would subject a skittish animal like a donkey to the stress of being restrained and sprayed with chemicals like paint, which could cause a painful allergic reaction, and PETA hopes that Cairo authorities are fully investigating this matter,” PETA Foundation Vice President Delcianna Winders told CNN in a statement.
According to CNN, this isn’t the first time a zoo has been accused of tricking its visitors.
In 2013, a zoo in China angered guests by trying to pass off a hairy dog as a lion. And the “lion” even barked.