FACT CHECK: Did These Sheep Mysterious Die in Idaho This Month?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows dozens of dead sheep in Idaho that recently died under mysterious circumstances.

Verdict: False

The footage was filmed in the country of Georgia nearly a year ago. It is unrelated to recent livestock deaths in the Midwest.

Fact Check:

An intense and lengthy heat wave earlier in June killed approximately 2,000 cows in Kansas, according to USA Today. Kansas State University veterinarian A.J. Tarpoff told the outlet that the combination of a lack of cooling winds, high humidity and in some cases the cattle’s inability to fully shed their winter coats may have contributed to the deaths.

A video shared on Facebook claims a similar event occurred in Idaho. The video shows what appears to be dozens of dead sheep littered around a patch of mountainous terrain.

“CATTLE CRISIS—(Who Done It?) Last week thousands of cattle dropped dead all at the same time in Kansas, now this week sheep in Idaho,” reads the video’s caption. “Could someone be poisoning the food?”

The video predates the current heat wave and subsequent cattle deaths. A reverse image search revealed the footage first appeared on YouTube in August 2021 titled “One lightning strike in Georgia on Mount Didi Abuli,instantly killed 530 sheep.”

The title of the video matches reporting from The Express which claimed in an August 2021 article that hundreds of sheep died in the country of Georgia after a lightning strike. The strike occurred on Aug. 9, 2021 and also knocked a shepherd unconscious, Indian-based news outlet News 18 reported.

Check Your Fact found no credible news reports suggesting scores of sheep had recently died in Idaho under mysterious circumstances. (RELATED: Does This Image Show Colorfully-Dyed Sheep In Scotland?)

This is not the first time misinformation about livestock has spread online. Check Your Fact previously corrected a false rumor early in the COVID-19 pandemic that alleged a COVID-19 vaccine had been used on cattle “for years.”

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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