Russia Using Lions to Make People Stay Indoors? No, it’s Fake News

It has been created using a template ‘Break you own news,’ and is not a part of any bulletin run by a media outlet.

Published23 Mar 2020, 04:12 AM IST
WebQoof
3 min read

CLAIM

As the world is fighting the coronavirus pandemic amid a spurt in the number of reported cases, Russia has reported as many as 367 cases of coronavirus, as per the Johns Hopkins tracker.

Now, multi-millionnaire Alan Sugar is one of the many social media users who have shared an image of a bulletin which claims that Russia has allegedly unleashed over 500 lions in order to ensure that people stay inside their houses amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The tweet had garnered over 28,000 likes and over 6,000 retweets at the time of publishing this article.

Russia Using Lions to Make People Stay Indoors? No, it’s Fake News
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/ Screengrab)

Several Facebook and Twitter users have shared the image with the same claim.

Russia Using Lions to Make People Stay Indoors? No, it’s Fake News
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/ Screengrab)
Russia Using Lions to Make People Stay Indoors? No, it’s Fake News
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ Screengrab)
Russia Using Lions to Make People Stay Indoors? No, it’s Fake News
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ Screengrab)

The Quint received a query on the claim being made in the image via its WhatsApp helpline.

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TRUE OR FALSE?

False.

Firstly, the image has been created using a template called ‘Break you own news,’ and is not a part of any bulletin run by any credible media outlet. Secondly, the image of the lion dates back to 2016 and was taken in South Africa’s Johannesburg, as per an article published by Metro.

WHAT WE FOUND OUT

The image has been created using a template called ‘Break you own news.’ The template, which identifies itself as a ‘Breaking News Generator,’ lets you write your own headline and ticker.

We created our own ‘Breaking news’ using the template with the headline ‘Coronavirus pandemic,’ and a ticker that reads ‘coronavirus outbreak in India.’ The template also lets you choose any image you upload to be displayed in the centre.

We used the template to create our own ‘Breaking News.’
We used the template to create our own ‘Breaking News.’
(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

WHERE IS THE LION IMAGE FROM?

We did a Google reverse image search which led us to a 2016 article published by Metro, a news organisation in the United Kingdom that carried the same image of the lion.

As per the article, the image is from South Africa’s Johannesburg and the lion named Columbus was a part of a local film production. “According to the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA), the filming had not been cleared and the film company took a risk by releasing the lion into the city, without previously getting approval to close several roads,” the report added.

Evidently, an old image used in a ‘breaking news’ generator was used to propagate the false claim that Russia has “dropped” over 500 lions to encourage people to stay at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

You can read all our fact-checked stories here.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on Whatsapp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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