'Lion' on the Loose in Virginia Turns Out to be a Labradoodle with a Mane

When police in Norfolk, Virginia, received a call yesterday morning alerting them to the presence of a lion cub wandering the city streets, they immediately phoned the Virginia Zoo to ensure no kings of the jungle had gotten loose overnight.

After getting the all-clear, officers set out to learn the true identity of the lion-like animal freaking out Colley Avenue passers-by.

Turns it was a king after all: Charles the Monarch.

Something of a local celebrity, Daniel Painter's Labradoodle has had his coat shaved to resemble Old Dominion University's mascot Big Blue, and is a staple of ODU tailgate parties.

"They say you didn't get to our tailgating parties, so I have to make everybody's tailgating party with Charles," Painter told 13News. "He's a big hit."

The dog is often mistaken for a lion, so Painter has taken to calling Charles a Lab-alion. "Half the people believe that," he said.

[screengrab via Virginian-Pilot]