No, Vladimir Putin did not drop lions in the streets to force the Russians to stay at home

The image of a lion in the street went around the web in a few days, but the feline has nothing to do with coronavirus or Russia.

In this image, which has been widely shared on social networks, we can see a lion wandering on a street at night. It is accompanied by the message: “Vladimir Putin released 800 tigers and lions all over Russia to force people to stay at home, stay at home!” Internet user refers to a hypothetical containment against the Covid-19 pandemic. Except that the picture has nothing to do with coronavirus or Russia. The True False Cell explains to you.

Thanks to a reverse image search engine, the image is easy to find. It was taken in April 2016 in Johannesburg, the capital of South Africa. According to a British news agency Caters article, “the lion was part of the filming of a film in the city center”. At the time, some Internet users were already alarmed to see this lion in the street. The British daily Daily Mirror had also relayed the story.

Four years later, Vladimir Putin did not drop felines on the streets of Russia, but called on residents to “stay at home”. The Russian president also announced the suspension of international flights from Thursday evening, without for the moment establishing a strict confinement of the country. On Thursday, March 26, Russia officially counted 846 Covid-19 patients.


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