After visitors were perplexed by its new appearance, a zoo was forced to deny giving a lion a dodgy haircut on purpose.
Instead of his usual mane, the male lion now has a cropped hairstyle that looks out of place on one of the Animal Kingdom’s most dangerous predators.
Images of the strangely fringed mammal have quickly spread across Chinese social media, with many accusing Guangzhou Zoo staff of giving the proud animal a bad makeover.
Some people compared the lion to Tiger King Netflix show mullet media personality Joe Exotic, while others said he looked like The Beatles’ mop-topped members.
The Guangzhou Zoo denies that a male lion was given a makeover, claiming that the strange appearance is due to self-grooming.
Workers, on the other hand, have vehemently denied any involvement in the lion’s hairstyle, with one spokesperson claiming the lion did it himself.
“He licked his claws first, then fiddled with his hair, like a cat,” they explained.
High humidity, according to another statement, played a role in the style change.
To say the least, the public’s reaction to their explanation of lion self-grooming has been skeptical, with some claiming to have seen the same lion with a more typical appearance just days before.
Some internet users questioned the zoo’s explanation for the abrupt appearance change.
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“I went there two months ago, his hairstyle was not like this, and now his hairstyle is so ridiculous,” one user wrote.
Another enraged social media user slammed the staff for “ruining” the lion’s look.
Others saw the lion’s antics as amusing, with one writing: “Very trendy and Guangzhou” to suggest the lion had picked up on their city’s youth fashions.