New Delhi: A photograph of a herd of deer lounging on an empty road has been circulating widely on social media, with the claim that it is from the Ooty-Coimbatore highway stretch in Tamil Nadu.
The image is being posted with captions about the wildlife reclaiming public spaces amid a nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mrinal Pande, journalist and former chief editor of Hindi daily Hindustan, was one of many Twitter users who srahed the image Friday. Her post read: “Wildlife reclaiming lost space, Ooty road…”
The tweet went viral, with approximately 4,600 likes and 893 retweets.
Wildlife reclaiming lost space, Ooty road… pic.twitter.com/gGEOzU7lne
— Mrinal Pande (@MrinalPande1) March 27, 2020
Telugu film director and producer Puri Jagannath also posted the image. His caption read: “Hundreds of dolphins playing in marine drive in mumbai, peacocks playing outside KBR park and deers resting on Coimbatore roads. Pl remember we share this planet with them (sic).”
Hundreds of dolphins playing in marine drive in mumbai, peacocks playing outside KBR park and deers resting on Coimbatore roads. Pl remember we share this planet with them pic.twitter.com/CEzGIEdCXP
— PURIJAGAN (@purijagan) March 24, 2020
Even IPS officer H.G.S. Dhaliwal posted the same image.
— HGS Dhaliwal (@hgsdhaliwalips) March 25, 2020
A simple Google search revealed that it is a six-year-old photograph of Sika deer shot in Japan’s Nara Park. It was published along with an article, Nara’s deer take over one of city’s streets, in Japan Today on 28 July 2014.
According to the report, the image was shared by Twitter user Mojizuri on 22 July 2014.
Sika deer are an attraction in Japan’s Nara Park. The animals are known to venture beyond the park’s boundaries and wander into gift shops, restaurants and across the street.
The Japan Today photograph was later also shared on Facebook on 25 January 2018. It shows the full image, revealing a Japanese sign board on the street. In the image being shared in India, this sign board is missing.
The Japanese city of Nara is renown for its deer. 🇯🇵
Mrinal Pande has since acknowledged that the image is fake, after many users pointed it out.
In collaboration with SM Hoaxslayer