Elephant helps a baby lion? It’s cute – but it’s a hoax
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This photo has been shared hundreds of thousands of times on social networks this week, with a caption explaining that it shows an elephant helping a mother lion by carrying her tired baby in the crook of his trunk. But it’s a bit too cute to be true … In fact, it’s a photomontage. This video explains how the image was manipulated.
Where does this photo come from?
Originally, this image was used as part of an April Fool’s joke published on Twitter on April 1 by Kruger Sightings, an official account belonging to South Africa’s famous Kruger National Park. The account is normally used to share photos by park visitors. The April Fool’s joke was retweeted nearly 116,000 times.
We were following a lioness carrying her cub & she was getting really tired. An elephant showed up wanting to help the lioness. The elephant put its trunk down, the cub jumped up & the elephant carried the lion cub!!⁰S28, 3km from S entranceKruger Sightings (@LatestKruger) 1 avril 2018
Tinged by Sloof Lirpa pic.twitter.com/aebvHwtrv5
In addition to the date it was published, there was another clue indicating the image was a joke: It cites the photographer’s name as “Sloof Lirpa”, which is “April Fools” written backwards.
Although many people have posted comments warning that the story was fake – both at the time it was published and now – the photo is still widely shared on both Facebook and Twitter from everywhere from India to France.
To learn more about how to verify images you see online, you can check out our verification guide by clicking the image below.
Article and video by Alexandre Capron (@alexcapron).