It’s a hoax! Pride of lions didn’t kill 5 poachers in Zimbabwe
Wildlife lovers rejoiced when a Facebook post recounting the gruesome death of five poachers went viral. But the story – and the images – are a hoax.
Researched by Kate Wilkinson
The animal kingdom appears to have taken justice into its own hands in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.
“PRIDE OF LIONS KILLED FIVE POACHERS AND INJURED ANOTHER THREE,” Askari Warrior Wildlife Academy told its followers on Facebook.
The post, which has been shared over 4,500 times, claims a pride of lions attacked a group of poachers leaving “many bones and bits of flesh scattered over hundreds of square metres”.
The news was met with glee. A comment left on the post suggested that the poachers’ death certificates should read “Killed by cats”. Another read: “So good to see that the lions are getting their own back on the scum that see fit to kill them!”
Story is a fabrication
World News Daily Report is an entertainment website. Its disclaimer warns that “all characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any persons, living, dead, or undead is purely a miracle”.
We confirmed with Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park that the incident did not occur there.
“Those claims are unsubstantiated. It is not true,” the park’s spokesman Caroline Washaya Moyo told Africa Check.
Fake images used
The image used to illustrate the original hoax story on World News Daily Report does not show the victim of a lion attack. Rather it appears to be a picture of a man who reportedly grew breasts and approached a prophet for healing.
The Facebook post is similarly illustrated with appropriated images.
The film is supposedly one of the most dangerous ever made, with 70 members of the cast and crew injured during production. (Don’t fact-check us on that.)
Conclusion: Gruesome lion story and images are a hoax
The gruesome viral story of a pride of lions killing five poachers in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park is a hoax.
The story, shared over 4,500 times on Facebook, was debunked by Snopes.com.
Our verdict: the king of the jungle is innocent of all charges.
Edited by Anim van Wyk