Charles, a Labradoodle, garnered quite a bit of attention in Norfolk on Tuesday. Residents told emergency dispatchers that baby lion was walking down the street, possibly in search of food.
Local law enforcement officers immediately called the nearby Virginia Zoo to see if they were missing a lion, according to Fox News. Virginia zookeepers quickly checked the cages of Zola, a female lion and Mramba, a male. The furry creature was ultimately identified as Charles the Labradoodle, when all lions were present and accounted for at the zoo.
The Labrador retriever and poodle mix was shaved down to look like the Old Dominion University mascot, according to the Virginia-Pilot. Charles’ owner Chris Painter had this to say about his Labradoodle and the lost lion incident:
“He has a thousand and 200-some friends on Facebook. I tell people he’s a Lab-a-lion, and half the people believe that.”
A Talbot Park Civic League official emailed area residents to let them know that baby lion was actually just a dog, to alleviate lingering fears. The Labradoodle is a familiar face at Daniel’s Lawn and Garden Center, where the dog’s owner works on Colley Avenue.
Charles often visits Daniel Painter’s business while his master works hard to earn the extra cash to take the dog tailgating and out for a slice at University Pizza after the games. The lion-looking canine reportedly loves little children and tailgating at Old Dominion University football games.
The lion sighting 911 calls this week were not a first for the affable dog. While enjoying afternoons out at Lafayette Park, which is near the Virginia Zoo, folks have reportedly run back to their cars in shock.