Shandong police may have mistaken a mild-mannered household pet for a ferocious predator.
Police in China's Northeastern Shandong province are going on an offensive to rid the area of wolves, after attacks reportedly killed one elderly woman and injured five others.
Last Monday, police gunned down a wolf in Tengzhou city, and on Friday, police captured what was believed to be another wolf, which local residents complained had killed a chicken. According to another Tengzhou local, the latter animal is actually his 5-year-old husky that had recently ran away from home.
The man is in negotiations with local authorities, trying to retrieve his lost pet. Police have told news media that "there isn't enough evidence" of the animal's species, and local authorities have said that they'll "have to wait for the experts to decide whether the animal is actually a dog or a wolf."
Tengzhou authorities have become the object of ridicule on Sina Weibo, where micro-blogs from around the nation are poking fun at the inter-special conundrum.
"The police are hungry again, and they wanna eat dog meat," wrote Shenzhen-based connie6636_9lg.
Others seemed perplexed by this impasse of Shandong law enforcement.
"What is this? Police can't even tell a wolf from a dog. It's a little baffling. [Three laughing face emoticons] This is a joke," wrote Fujian-based user Holley Huang XiaoJuanJuanJuanJuan.
In a Weibo poll, 91 percent of roughly 600 voters said the pictured animal, under observation at a local zoo, is a dog. The jury is still out.