An Egyptian zoo is currently home to a peculiar zebra that is appearing to make an ass of itself.
That's because the zebra is actually a donkey.
Zookeepers tried to pass off their donkey as a zebra by painting black and white stripes on its hide.
But it's fooling no one.
A zoo is accused of painting a donkey and passing it off as a zebra https://t.co/4DzOF0ICEv https://t.co/JWLB0CPnIr— CNN (@CNN) 1532648162.0
The ruse was exposed by Mahmoud Sarhan, an 18-year-old visitor to the newly opened animal sanctuary at the International Garden municipal park.
@Lindile @News24 😀😁😂😁😀 When Plan A fails , think outside the Box ! Bravo to the brainchild behind this.— Tshililo Tshikota (@Tshililo Tshikota) 1532711761.0
Sarhan was stumped after initially seeing the "zebra" and wasn't able to make heads or tails of its strange appearance.
But after noticing the unusual size of the zebra's ears (and the melting painted stripes), his suspicions about the animal were confirmed.
The teen posted a photo of himself posing with the fake zebra on Facebook and wrote in Arabic:
The stupidity has reached in the country that they brought a local donkey and painted it to look like a zebra.
I realised from the first look that it was a painted donkey. People might realise that from the stripes.
@CNN They would've bought it too, if it weren't for those meddling kids https://t.co/ZOOGJZR6qg— Herb Marselas (@Herb Marselas) 1532648239.0
Sarhan's photo exposing the zoo went viral.
But instead of coming clean, the director of the Gardens Project in Cairo, Mohammed Sultan, denied that their zebra was a donkey.
"The zebra is real and not painted," Sultan insisted to Egypt's Youm 7 news channel.
@News24 @Zamluci1 Damn, these economic times know no bounds!!! LMFAO!!!!— uBaba Q. (@uBaba Q.) 1532672399.0
@News24 Imagine leaving your house to go to work as a zoologist, which you studied for. To paint an entire donkey.… https://t.co/rmpgqhwAqF— Thokozani Malaza (@Thokozani Malaza) 1532676727.0
Sultan also added that the welfare of all the animals in the zoo were being looked after, but animal rights group PETA found his statement to be false.
PETA's vice president Delcianna Winders issued a statement to CNN after observing the photos of the mistreated animal.
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.
@amangirg Not only do the ears give it away, but the fading/smearing along his nose does too. Obviously paint. Poor… https://t.co/Lr6awZMhlo— Alex 🌮 (@Alex 🌮) 1532643028.0
@amangirg Poor thing is probably sick from the chemicals soaking into its skin— 👽👽👽 (@👽👽👽) 1532656473.0
Twitter took the opportunity to show that life is stranger than fiction.
@News24 Innovation— Riccardo_Elle ™ (@Riccardo_Elle ™) 1532629642.0
@CNN It could be worse... https://t.co/BB8rVVfcZh— ⚡RЯose⚡ (@⚡RЯose⚡) 1532648834.0
@News24 3 STRIPES & you’re out . I guess there’s only one place to go from here https://t.co/wBYitOfRoM— i (@i) 1532711867.0
Meanwhile, donkeys everywhere hope to be accepted for who they are.
@CNN https://t.co/lmKVAzJnOw— Rick ☆ (@Rick ☆) 1532649530.0