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.
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.
Here's an unexpected side effect of the pandemic - the water's flowing through the canals of Venice is clear for the first time in forever. The fish are visible, the swans returned. pic.twitter.com/2egMGhJs7f— Kaveri 🇮🇳 (@ikaveri) March 16, 2020
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.
While humans carry out social distancing, a group of 14 elephants broke into a village in Yunan province, looking for corn and other food. They ended up drinking 30kg of corn wine and got so drunk that they fell asleep in a nearby tea garden. 😂 pic.twitter.com/ykTCCLLCJu— Corono she better don’t (@Spilling_The_T) March 18, 2020