Russia has not unleashed 500 lions to stop people going outdoors
24th Mar 2020
About 500 lions have been released on the streets of Russia to stop people going out during the coronavirus pandemic.
This is not true. The Russian government has yet to announce a widespread lockdown of any kind in Russia. The image of the lion is from South Africa in 2016.
An image that looks like a breaking news story and claims that Russian President Vladimir Putin has released 500 lions to stop people going outdoors during the coronavirus pandemic has been shared on Facebook.
This is a fake story, as reported by other fact checking websites. (Many people are likely sharing it as a joke, but some people seem to have taken it seriously.)
The text accompanying the image says “Russia unleashed more than 500 lions on its streets to ensure people are staying indoors during this pandemic outbreak”.
There are no actual reports that Russia has taken this drastic measure to stop the spread of Covid-19 (the infection caused by the new coronavirus).
At the time that the post was shared on Facebook (22 March), no widespread lockdown measures had been reported in the country, with Vladamir Putin declaring that the outbreak in Russia was “under control”.
This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because there is no evidence that lions have been released in Russia and the picture is from South Africa in 2016.