(SKY NEWS) – A zoo in Egypt has denied painting a donkey with black stripes in order to make it look like a zebra.
Egyptian student Mahmoud Sarhan, 18, was visiting the International Garden in Nasr City, Cairo, when he spotted the suspiciously-striped creature.
Mr Sarhan captured a photo of the animal that appears to show black smudges smeared across its face.
He told Sky News: “From the first sight I knew that it was a donkey, not a zebra, as I’m an artist.
“I know the shape of a donkey and I know the shape of zebras, so it was easy to know.”
The image went viral after it was shared on social media on 21 July, with experts giving their verdict on the exact nature of the animal.
Local radio station Nogoumfm.net contacted the zoo’s director, Mohamed Sultan, who denied that the animal was a donkey.
His comment came as the Egyptian news site Extranews.tv sent images of the animal to a local vet named “Dr N”, who pointed out that zebras usually have a black nose and mouth area.
The animal in Mr Sarhan’s photo appears to be pale in this region.
The vet added that zebra’s stripes are usually more parallel and consistent than those see in Mr Sarhan’s image.
Extranews.tv spoke to another vet who also questioned the legitimacy of the alleged zebra.