FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show A Seal In The Streets Of Florida During Hurricane Ian In September 2022?

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows a large seal in a Florida street during Hurricane Ian in September 2022.

Verdict: False

This video was taken in Cuba in 2020. There is no evidence such an animal was washed ashore by Hurricane Ian.

Fact Check:

Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwest Florida Sept. 28 as a Category 4 storm with winds up to 150 mph, according to PBS. Approximately 102 people have been reported dead, with four deaths being reported in North Carolina, CNN reported.

A Facebook video appears to show a large seal trying to move along a sidewalk in Florida during the hurricane.

“Wtf goin on in Florida???” reads the post’s caption.

This video is miscaptioned. A reverse image search finds that the video was posted to Twitter in Oct. 2020, two years before Hurricane Ian’s impact on Florida.

“With the support of residents of Puerto Cisnes, the Navy and the Carabineros, it was possible to bring back the elephant seal, which traveled more than 10 blocks,” the translated caption reads in part. 

Residents of Puerto Cisnes, Chile, worked to help an elephant seal return to the sea after it came ashore in Oct. 2020, according to an article by The Guardian. It was not clear how the seal washed onshore, but it had become disoriented, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Is Hurricane Irma The ‘Most Powerful’ Atlantic Storm On Record?)

Check Your Fact also found no credible news reports to prove that a seal came ashore in Florida in Sep. 2022. 

This is not the first time a miscaptioned video has gone viral. Check Your Fact recently debunked a video that claimed to show a 2022 earthquake in New Guinea, but actually showed one in Indonesia in 2018.

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter

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