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Labra-lion? Panicked Virginia residents call 911 after mistaking shaved Labradoodle for a lion

  • @bobjwilliams

One is a fierce merciless killing machine - known as the 'king of the jungle', the other is a cute hybrid of two of the softer breeds of domestic dog. Difficult to confuse you might think.

Well, apparently not if you're a resident of Norfolk, Virginia.

A man who shaved his Labradoodle dog to make it look like a lion, inadvertently sparked fears that a big cat was on the loose in Virginia.

Worried residents called 911 claiming a wild jungle cat was wandering the streets.

Police checked with Virginia Zoo to make sure none of their lions were missing, only to subsequently discover that what witnesses had seen was a domestic dog.

The local newspaper, The Virginia Pilot reported the incident revealing the the regally-named Charles the Monarch, a Labrador-poodle mix is owned by local businessman Daniel Painter.

Mr Painter is a loyal supporter of nearby Old Dominion University whose mascot is a lion, hence his dog's appearance.

He said his pet, who has more than 2,000 friends on Facebook, is often mistaken for a lion thanks to his furry mane.

"I tell people he's a Lab-a-lion, and half the people believe that," he told The Virginian Pilot.