Coronavirus: Fake Animal News Abounds On Social Media Amid COVID-19 Panic

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Flase pictures and videos of animals traversing through now deserted streets, parks and lakes emerged as a silver lining to the coronavirus situation

Written By Riya Baibhawi | Mumbai | Updated On:
Coronavirus: Fake animal news abounds on social media amid COVID-19 panic

Pictures and videos of animals traversing freely through now deserted streets, parks and lakes emerged as a silver lining to the situation of intense panic and gloom amid COVID-19 pandemic. Pictures of dolphins and swans returning to Venetian lakes, otters roaming freely in parks and geese crossing roads in Singapore captured everybody's attention as soon as they hit the internet. However, it was only when further investigations were made, it was found that they were all indeed false. 

Read: Meet Sarge, The German Shepherd Who Saves Injured And Orphaned Animals

Online Misinformation

Photographs showing swans swimming in Venice canals which are otherwise filled with boats took the internet by storm. However, it was later revealed that swans regularly appear in canals in Burano, a small island in Venice, where the photographs were reportedly were taken.

Read: From Meerkats To Honeybees, How Animals Make Important Decisions By 'voting'

Meanwhile, the Venetian dolphins were filmed at a port in Sardinia, an island in Mediterranean sea which is hundreds of miles away from Venice, international media reported. Similarly, there were photographs showing penguins roaming in California, Geese crossing the runway at Singapore airport amongst others all of which were all labelled as 'doctored' later. 

Another series of pictures which captured people's interest showed a herd of elephants in a tea plantation in Yunnan province of China. According to the caption of the pictures, the group of elephants had passed out after drinking corn wine. Later, a Chinese news report debunked the viral elephant photos. It said that the presence of the elephants in the Chinese villages of Yunnan wasn't an unnatural phenomenon adding that neither they were drunk nor passed out. 

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Read: John Abraham Points Out Misinformation About Pet Animals Amid COVID Outbreak, BMC Responds

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