While some countries and regions are considering some form of cessation to the prevailing lockdown situation, World Health Organization has advised them to be extremely cautious in taking such actions. Due to the curtailment of human activities, pollution has vastly reduced and air quality levels have improved enormously in a number of cities around the world. However, large number of memes with views from distant places are also being shared in this context. We did a fact check on one such misleading claim of Himalayan mountain range being visible to Sri Lanka.
With reduced human activities, wild animals are enjoying a much needed freedom as well. Social media streams are flooded with numerous posts of how animals were roaming around cities, beaches and even in their natural habitats in a carefree nature. Even though a lot of posts involving animals roaming freely in a human less urban environment, there are several photos and videos which are unrelated to the present lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic.
One such post appeared on a Facebook page captioned: “Ooty…Coimbatore roads occupied by its original owners” using an image of a flock of Peacocks and few other birds feeding on a road. It was posted by “Vanakkam Chennai” and was shared among 380 Facebook users. Since the background in the image looks rural and the responses received on the post suggested that this is not Ooty- Coimbatore road we decided to carry out a fact check of this post.
We carried out a Yandex Reverse Image search and came across many social media posts carrying the image.
A Facebook user Page named “Bird in Punjab” had posted the image in June 2019.
However further investigations revealed a similar image captured by Wildlife Photographer Vama Amav who Tweeted the photo with the caption: “Co-existence. Picture taken in Chandigarh” with her name watermarked in the image.
A search on YouTube led us to a video of the same location with similar visuals in a video titled “Chandigarh l India l Chattbir Zoo l Lion Safari Peacocks”. The video can be seen below
The image being shared as peacocks enjoying freedom due to lockdown on Coimbatore-Ooty road is actually from Chattbir Zoo in the north Indian city of Chandigarh. The image has no relation with the current lockdown in India nor the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu where Coimbatore and Ooty are located.
Title:Old image of peacocks from Chandigarh zoo shared as Ooty-Coimbatore road in lockdownFact Check By: Sathyajith Subasinghe