Cairo – Egyptian authorities have referred a zookeeper in Cairo to a public prosecutor for interrogation over allegedly having painted stripes on a donkey to make it look like a zebra, an official said on Thursday.
Late last month, a visitor to the government-owned International Garden municipal park in the eastern Cairo district of Nasr City posted a picture on Facebook, showing a donkey with smudges on its face.
The animal also had long, pointed ears – unlike those of a zebra.
The picture soon caused a massive stir on social media, drawing an initial denial from authorities.
However, Mohammed Sultan, the head of Specialised Parks in Cairo, on Thursday accused the zoo keeper of having painted the donkey to look like a zebra, purportedly to deceive visitors.
“The keeper, who leases the place, has tarnished the reputation of the park. Faking a zebra is an unacceptable act,” Sultan said.
“The administration of the park has notified the prosecution of the incident.”
Sultan added that the zoo authorities had also decided to terminate the lease contract with the suspect whom he did not name.