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Sarhan was visiting the zoo in eastern Cairo, at the municipal International Garden park, with his family last week when he snapped the now-viral photos.

A zoo in Egypt has denied an animal displayed as a zebra is actually just a donkey painted white with black stripes, after photos of it appeared online.

In 2009, a zoo in Gaza admitted painting stripes onto two donkeys to replace zebras that had died of starvation during military conflict. Subscribe to the Standard Group SMS service by texting "NEWS" to 22840.

The black paint had melted on the donkey's face and the ears didn't look like the right size for a zebra, he said.

Zoo Unbelievably Gets Caught Out For Painting A Donkey To Look Like A Zebra
Zoo paints black stripes onto donkeys to make them look like zebras!

We might as well explain how we know it's a donkey - Alex Adams, a wildlife biologist and researcher at Colorado State University, said there was no doubt it was something other than a zebra.

But zoo director Mohamed Sultan insisted that they were zebras, reported BBC. Another Gaza zoo used stuffed wild animals on display.

In 2013, a Chinese zoo in Henan province tried to pass off a Tibetan mastiff dog as an African lion, and in 2017 a zoo in Guangxi province disappointed visitors by exhibiting blow-up plastic penguins.

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