EGYPT -Student Mahmoud Sarhan says Cairo International Garden municipal park painted the donkey to look like a zebra.
An Egyptian zoo has denied painting black stripes on a donkey to make it look like a zebra.
Student Mahmoud Sarhan posted images of the animal on Facebook after visiting the Cairo International Garden municipal park.
He says the black stripes were smudged and the face and ears of the zebra resembled a donkey.
But the zoo is insisting the animal is not fake.
“The zebra is real and not painted,” zoo director Mohammed Sultan told Egypt’s Youm 7 news channel.
The pictures have since gone viral and even animal experts have weighed in on the debate.
PETA Foundation vice president Delcianna Winders says it appears the animal was not well taken care of.
“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,” Ms Winders told CNN in a statement.
ZEBRAS FACT CHECK: Zebras are equids – members of the horse family (Equidae) and are medium sized, odd-toed ungulates. Zebras are native to southern and central Africa. Although zebras are very adaptable animals as far as their habitats are concerned, most zebras live in grasslands and savannas. The Grevy’s zebra (Equus grevyi) prefers to live in sub desert and arid grasslands.
Zebras were the second species to diverge from the earliest proto-horses, after the asses, around 4 million years ago. The Grevy’s zebra is believed to have been the first zebra species to emerge.
The most common species is the plains zebra, which roams grasslands and woodland ofeastern and southern Africa. The Grevy’s zebra can be found in dry, semi-desert areas ofKenya and Ethiopia, and the mountain zebra lives in mountainous and hilly habitats in Namibia,Angola and South Africa.
ADAPTED FROM: Animal Corner
It isn’t the first time a zoo has come under fire for passing off one animal as another.
In 2013 a Chinese zoo tried to pass off a Tibetan mastiff dog as a lion.