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Circus owner in trouble for painting dogs to look and act like show pandas

By Mason White 11:13 AM December 25, 2014
Dogs that look like pandas illustration 

By: Wayne Morin
People who paid to see small pandas and take photos with them, were fooled.

The owner of a circus in Italy, has been charged with using false documents after it was discovered that two pandas in his show were dogs.

The male and female dogs had been painted black and white to look like pandas.

A spokesperson for the Forestry Corps, which is responsible for crimes related to animals, said that members of the public were asked to pay to have their photos taken with fake pandas. “It happened regularly before the show,” the spokesperson said.

The circus was visiting Brescia, near Milan, when the scheme was discovered.

Police recruited a veterinarian, forest rangers and investigators, who raided the circus and took possession of the two dogs.

The dogs were found in good health, but its eyes were watery. Investigators said that this may be due to the paint and countless flashes from cameras.

The dogs were reportedly imported from Hungary, and had fake pet passports, showing them to be six months old.

The owner of Orfei Circus, is facing a host of charges including animal cruelty.