March 27, 2020

Lions, Covid-19, and Isolation – Oh My!


Lions, Covid-19, and Isolation – Oh My!
An Instagram post makes some startling claims! Image by k104fm via Instagram

With folks staying home due to the coronavirus pandemic, people are doing everything they can to stay entertained. For some, that means creating rumors and fake news, such as a recent story about lions in Russia.

According to an Instagram post from March 21 by user “Barstoolnewsnet,” President Putin released 500 lions onto Russia’s streets to ensure that people stay indoors during the quarantine. The post includes an image of a lion wandering empty streets above a banner that reads “Vladmir (sic) Putin released around 500 lions to make people stay indoors." There is no evidence of a news source or news outlet shown by the banner.

The post was shared many times around the world, prompting several fact checks. According to Global News, the story was especially popular in India.

PolitiFact did its own check on the story and rated it a “Pants on Fire” fake. The post was also flagged by Facebook and Instagram as containing fake information.

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