Spot the difference: Italian circus dyes puppies black and white to look like pandas.

So this is a Chow Chow puppy:


And this is a panda:

Both adorable, yes. And both animals. But apart from that, you’d think the two species didn’t have much in common.

But that didn’t stop an Italian circus from dying some Chow Chow puppies black and white and passing them off as pandas:

You’ve got to give them points for trying (apart from putting the puppies through the trauma of dying them), but wow – talk about a face-palm moment.

The circus was reportedly allowing children to pose for photos with the fake pandas, (and charging their parents a bomb for the privilege). But the jig was up when Italy’s environmental police finally seized the puppies, which had been imported from Hungary.

We’re pleased to say they are doing fine, besides having watery eyes (caused by all those camera flashes), and that their owners have been charged with animal abuse. And as a final, hilarious twist, the circus apparently told any patrons who started asking pesky questions that the creatures were a weird dog-panda hybrid.

Again – nice try.