A tiger spotted walking alongside a man has turned out to be a dog after it emerged that he was dyed orange and black by its owner.
A video of the entire episode captured on a Chinese street has gone viral on social media, showing a man walking the beast.
The pet with its golden fur and black stripes was actually a Caucasian shepherd dog with dyed hair and a fake long tail after its owner had given it a makeover, according to local media.
The bizarre scene was captured by a pedestrian who encountered the pet owner and his dog on a street in the city of Zhangye, Gansu Province.
A woman can be heard saying: ‘It’s fake. It really looks like a tiger.’
He also wrapped a fake tail on the animal’s back for extra effect. But it remains unknown if the man had used toxic colouring on his pet.
This is not the first time that pet dogs have been converted to other animals using dye.
According to a report in November last year, it takes just 1,500 yuan ($212.28) at a pet café in southwest China that dyes pups in black and white streaks to resemble the animal that is considered a national treasure.
“There are many dog cafes, cat cafes, raccoon cafes, alpaca cafes and duck cafes,” said Lu, as the puppies, their limbs, ears and fur around the eyes dyed black, playfully chased a fish toy on a cord.
“We think they are not creative. We wanted something novel,” added the 21-year-old, who estimates his cafe draws 70 to 80 customers a day, nearly doubling since he posted social media pictures of his dyed dogs.
But until now customers have been more interested in taking pictures with Lu’s dogs than signing up for the dye service.
Lu said the imported dye he used did not harm the dogs, and was spread only on the upper part of their fur, rather than extending down to the base.