Zoo forced to deny giving lion amusingly dodgy mullet mane haircut

A zoo has been forced to deny it gave a lion a dodgy haircut on purpose after visitors were left puzzled by its new look.

Instead of the usual mane, the male lion now sports a new cropped hairdo that looks a little out of place on one of the Animal Kingdom's fiercest predators.

Images of the mammal with the bizarre fringe have spread quickly across Chinese social media, with many accusing staff at Guangzhou Zoo of giving the proud animal a botched makeover.

Some online comments compared the lion to mullet media personality Joe Exotic from the Tiger King Netflix show, while others said he resembled the mop-topped members of The Beatles.

But workers have fiercely defended themselves against suggestions they meddled with his hairdo, with one spokesperson claiming the lion in fact did it himself.

They explained: "Like a cat, he first licked his claws, and then fiddled with his hair."

Another statement said high levels of humidity had also contributed to the switch-up in styles.

Online reaction to their explanation of lion self-grooming has been sceptical to say the least, with some claiming they had seen the same lion with a more typical appearance only days earlier.

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One user wrote: "I went there two months ago, his hairstyle is not like this, and now his hairstyle is so silly."

Another more annoyed social media user blasted the staff for "ruining" the lion's appearance.

Others saw the funny side, with one suggesting the lion had picked up the youth fashions of their local city as they penned: "Very trendy and Guangzhou".

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