FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show An Elephant Carrying A Lion Cub?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook over 250 times allegedly shows an elephant carrying a lion cub while a lioness walks beside them.

Verdict: False

The photo of the elephant has been photoshopped to include a lioness and lion cub. The image was originally created for an April Fools’ Day prank.

Fact Check:

The image seemingly showing a lioness padding alongside an elephant holding a cub with its trunk has circulated online for several years.

“It was considered the best photo of this century,” text inside the image states. “A lioness and her cub were crossing the savannah but the heat was excessive and the cub was in great difficulty walking. An elephant realized that the cub would die and carried him in his trunk to a pool of water walking beside his mother. And we call them wild animals.”

The image is photoshopped. The unaltered picture of the elephant can be found on Wikimedia Commons. In the original photo, there are no lions accompanying the elephant as it crosses a dirt path. (RELATED: Did Russia Let Over 500 Lions Loose To Keep People Indoors During The Coronavirus Pandemic?)

Kruger Sightings, an online service that shares wildlife sightings at South Africa’s Kruger National Park, first tweeted the altered picture on April 1, 2018, with a similar story accompanying it. The caption credits the photo to “Sloof Lirpa,” which is “April Fools” written backwards.

Nadav Ossendryver, the founder of Kruger Sightings, said that it was created as a 2018 April Fools’ Day prank and that it quickly went viral, according to Business Insider South Africa. Ossendryver said some media outlets reached out to him at the time asking for permission to use it, the outlet reported.

Despite Kruger Sightings also posting on its website in 2018 that the photoshopped image was an April Fools joke, some social media users have continued to share it, seemingly believing it is a genuine photo of an elephant helping a lioness and her cub.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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