‘Lion on the Loose’ in Virginia Turns Out to be Cute Labradoodle

What is there to be said about the town that cried "lion?"

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Better safe than sorry? Some residents Norfolk, Va., are probably saying that to justify their confusion after a mix-up of canine proportions.

Local police received a call on Tuesday morning about a lion cub that was walking down Colley Avenue in downtown Norfolk. Police then referred the information to Virginia Zoo to verify that Mramba, their male lion, and Zola, their lioness, were safely in their habitats. A zoo spokesman confirmed that they were safe and sound.

(PHOTOS: The 15 Cutest Endangered Animals in the World)

But the lion was, in fact, Charles the Monarch, a popular local Labradoodle with fur shaved to look like Big Blue, the mascot for nearby Old Dominion University. Charles often attends tailgates at Old Dominion football games. According to The Virginian-Pilot, Charles is known to hang out with his owner, Daniel Painter, at his business, Daniel’s Lawn & Garden Center on Colley Avenue. According to Painter, Charles the Monarch likes to dine at University Pizza and has around 1,200 likes on his Facebook page. As of Wednesday afternoon, that number rose to over 4,000.

Painter was hardly surprised by the flap, telling WVEC news station that this is not the first time this has happened. “I tell people he’s a Lab-a-lion, and half the people believe that.”