Italian Circus Closed After Trying to Pass Off Dogs as Pandas

PHOTO: The State Forestry Corps in Italy is investigating claims that a circus tried to trick the public into seeing pandas that turned out to the Chow dogs. Corpo Forestale dello Stato
The State Forestry Corps in Italy is investigating claims that a circus tried to trick the public into seeing pandas that turned out to the Chow dogs.

The owners of a circus in Italy were arrested after trying to pass off their dogs as pandas.

The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sierra says the circus painted black patches on the ears and backs of two white Chow Chow puppies imported from Hungary.

Dozens of people reportedly paid to pose for pictures with the cute "pandas" -- with one male and one female -- both less than 6 months old.

Police have now closed the circus.