A number of experts have weighed into the debate since the pictures emerged

An Egyptian zoo has denied painting stripes on a donkey to pass it off as a zebra.

18-year-old student Mahmoud Sarhan said he was at the International Garden in Nasr City, Cairo, when he came across animal.

He posted a photo to Facebook appearing to show the creatures ‘stripes’ smudged right across its face.

“From the first sight I knew that it was a donkey, not a zebra, as I'm an artist,” he said.

“I know the shape of a donkey and I know the shape of zebras, so it was easy to know.”

Speaking to local radio station Nogoum FM, the zoo’s director Mohamed Sultan, who denied that the animal was a donkey.

However, a number of experts have weighed into the debate since Mr Sarhan’s post last Saturday.

Egyptian news channel eXtranews sent pictures of the animal to a local vet who pointed out that zebras usually have a black nose and mouth area.

The vet also noted that zebra stripes are usually more parallel and consistent than those on the animal in the Cairo zoo.