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"They are so stupid they forgot to paint another layer and so it smudged on the donkey's face". The vet said zebras had black snouts while their stripes ran parallel and were more consistent.

This is not the first attempt by a zoo to market dubious specimens to unsuspecting visitors.

Mahmoud Sarhan posted photos of the animal to Facebook after a recent trip to Cairo's International Garden municipal park.

Sarhan's pics of the suspicious zebras went viral after he posted them on Facebook.

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Zoo visitor Mahmoud Sarhan spotted what he said was a donkey painted to look like a zebra at Cairo's International Garden public park. Subscribe to the Standard Group SMS service by texting "NEWS" to 22840.

The zoo director has however denied the claims, although he told a local radio station Nogoum FM that the animal was not fake, according to the BBC.

As well as the difference in size and ears, zebras have black snouts. "I knew the shape of donkeys and also I knew the shape of zebras so it was easy to know". In 2009, unable to find a way around the Israeli blockade, a zoo in Gaza painted two donkeys to look like zebras, while in 2013, a Chinese zoo tried to pass off a Tibetan mastiff dog as an African lion. A different zoo in China used blow-up penguins for a display.

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