FACT CHECK: Did Rioters In France Release Zoo Animals?

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows zoo animals that were released by rioters in France. 

Verdict: False

The video is miscaptioned. The clips shown in the video date back to 2020, greatly predating the recent protests.

Fact Check:

France has been faced with continuous riots after police fatally shot a 17-year-old at a traffic stop, with over 3,000 protestors being arrested over the past week, according to ABC News. The riots seemed to calm down on Tuesday night, with police arresting only 16 people, Reuters reported.

A Facebook video claims to show nighttime footage of animals let loose by rioters in France. The first part of the video appears to show a horse and zebra running in the middle of traffic, followed by a clip of several lions running in a street and an elephant with glowing eyes.

“So the rioters in France endanger zoo animals by setting them free,” the caption reads.

The video is miscaptioned, however, and shows two different clips stemming from 2020. The footage of the lions was posted to YouTube in February 2020. “Lions roam in Saint Denis at night without any surveillance,” the title reads. Saint-Denis is a suburb within Paris. The footage of the horse and zebra can be seen in an article from a French news outlet in April 2020, reporting that the animals were spotted in the Paris area after escaping from a circus. 

There are no credible news reports about zoo animals being let loose during the riots. (RELATED: Did A Gorilla Escape From A Zoo In Paris, France During The Riots?)

Check Your Fact has reached out to the Paris Zoological Park for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter