Amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, a series of fake news pertaining to the pandemic has been circulating on the internet. Recently, a news piece that Russian President Vladimir Putin has unleashed 500 lions on the streets of Russia to force people to stay at home went viral online.
Were there Lions on the streets of Russia?
Many social media users spread the news that Vladimir Putin unleashed lions on the streets to keep the people isolated and confined to their homes. Social media users were seen forwarding the post without checking its authenticity.
#Covid_19— Mohammad Ahmed (@MohammadAhmedDh) March 22, 2020
Vladimir Putin has given Russians two options
You stay at home for 2 weeks or you go to jail for 5years
No middle ground
RUSSIA Vladimir Putin has Dropped 800 tigers and Lions all over the Country to push people to stay Home.. Stay Safe Everyone! pic.twitter.com/41KOjl8vNe
Did Russia really unleash lions on the street?
Image source: Mohammad Ahmed Twitter
No Russia, did not unleash lions on the street to ensure that people adhere to lockdown and quarantine protocols, despite what various social media users and fake news outlets peddled.
The pictures that were widely circulated on social media is of a lion in South Africa. The picture is from back in the year 2016 when the lion was seen strolling the streets in the middle of the night. The lion was borrowed from a nearby lion park for filming purposes.
The lion's name is Columbus and the officials had confirmed during that time that he was not on loose and was actually brought by the production crew. The lion can also be seen resting his front legs on the back of a car in one picture. Take a look.
Image source: Col kfc Twitter