Clip From South Africa Shared as Lions in Gir Post Cyclone Tauktae
The video actually shows lions walking across South Africa’s MalaMala Game Reserve after a foiled hunt.
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A video of a pride of lions walking across a stretch of water is being falsely shared as lions in the Gir forest of Gujarat after Cyclone Tauktae hit the state on 17 May.
However, we found that the video was shot earlier this year in February at the MalaMala Game Reserve in South Africa by Shaheen Patel. The video showed lions walking across the premises after a foiled hunt.
Several social media users shared the video claiming it to show lions in Gujarat after Cyclone Tauktae made landfall in the state.
Similar claims on Facebook can be seen here and here, while those on Twitter can be seen here and here.
The video was also shared by news outlets such as India Today and Asianet Bangla, who later issued corrections.
WHAT WE FOUND
We used video verification tool InVid to fragment the video into keyframes, and then ran a reverse image search on Yandex. The results led us to a YouTube video uploaded on 23 May by channel ‘Nature and Heritage’ titled "Lions of MalaMala Game Reserve After Hitting Strom (sic)”.
The description of the video identified the location as MalaMala Game Reserve in South Africa and added that the reserve shared the footage on Instagram in February.
We looked for the reserve’s Instagram account and found the same footage, uploaded by MalaMala Game Reserve's account on 13 February.
The caption credited the footage to ‘Legend Safaris’ who had also uploaded the footage on their Instagram account on the same day.
They also tagged MalaMala Game Reserve in their post location. Both posts carried the same caption, describing the video as one showing the Nkuhuma pride of lions stalking impalas, and said that “the hunt was foiled by some cubs moving through an open area which gave the lions' presence away”.
We further reached out to Legend Safaris, who confirmed that the footage was shot by their employee Shaheen Patel.
Evidently, the video does not show lions in Gujarat after Cyclone Tauktae hit the state. While there are reports of lions going missing after the cyclone, this footage does not show them.
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Topics: Wildlife South Africa Gujarat
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