Gujarat Officials Share Video Of Lions In South Africa & Claim It’s Gir, Apologize Later

Cyclone Tauktae has wreaked havoc in many parts of the country including Gujarat, and many were concerned about the situation of wildlife in the state.

In order to alleviate these fears, Gujarat’s Additional Chief Secretary of Forest & Environment Department, Dr. Rajiv Kumar Gupta, tweeted a now-deleted video that showed pride of lions crossing a stream surrounded by tall Savannah grass. He wrote that the field staff is constantly monitoring the lion movement in Gir during the cyclone. The top IAS officer also tagged the Gujarat Forest Department, The Indian Express reports.

It was also retweeted by Prakash Javadekar of the Gujarat Forest Department and Union Minister for Environment and Forest.

While many people fell for the video and lauded the officials, many sharp-eyed citizens questioned the topography of the region as well as the fact that they didn’t seem like Asiatic lions:

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Turns out that the footage shared was not from Gujarat, but South Africa instead. The clip was originally shared in February 2021 by the Mala Mala Game Reserve, one of the oldest and biggest private game reserves in South Africa. Check out their post:

Dr. Gupta then deleted the video and issued a clarification:

Rajya Sabha lawmaker Parimal Nathwani, who had also shared the clip, issued a clarification on his behalf:

DT Vasavada, who is the Chief Conservator of Forests, Junagadh Wildlife Circle, put out a video stating that all the lions of Gir-Brihadgir are safe, and that none of them have gone missing due to the storm that hit Gujarat.

The Gujarat Forest Department issued a letter stating the claim alongside two photos that showed lions roaming in their habitat.

What do you think of this blunder? Tell us.

Cover Image Source- I, II

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