FACT CHECK: Does This Picture Show A Pigeon Sitting With A Man In A Jerusalem Hospital?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows a patient in a Jerusalem hospital with a pigeon he allegedly fed every day perched on top of him.

Verdict: False

The picture shows an unknown patient in the Cardiology Ward of Red Cross Hospital in Athens, Greece, in 2013. There is no evidence the story included in the post is real.

Fact Check:

The image shared on Facebook shows a man lying in a hospital bed with a pigeon perched atop his sleeping body. The post’s caption claims the photo was taken by a nurse at a Jerusalem hospital, who allegedly said, “It’s been 23 days since this patient came to the hospital and for those 23 days, none of his family came to see him, except a pigeon, everyday. We later discovered, this patient sat on a park bench near the hospital and fed the pigeons everyday.”

There is, however, no evidence that this story is true. Using a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found the picture was originally shared by an independent filmmaker named Ioannis Protonotarios on Flickr in 2013. The photo was taken in Athens, Greece, according to the Flickr post, not Jerusalem. The original post gives no indication as to what the image depicts and does not include the story shared on Facebook. (RELATED: Viral Image Claims To Show A Chinese Coronavirus Hospital In Wuhan?)

Protonotarios told The Quint in September of 2020 that he had taken the picture in the Cardiology Ward of the Red Cross Hospital in Athens during his father’s stay there. The man pictured had shared the room with his father and, while he had been sleeping, Protonotarios noticed the bird perch on his body and quickly snapped the picture. Once Protonotarios’s father was moved to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, he never saw the man again, the filmmaker told the outlet.

Check Your Fact has reached out to Ioannis Protonotarios for comment and will update this piece if a response is given.

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter


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