March 23, 2020

Fact check: Russia releases 800 tigers; lions to force citizens stay at home over covid-19

Fact check: Russia releases 800 tigers; lions to force citizens stay at home over covid-19

By Nwafor Sunday

Reports have it that the Russia President Vladimir Putin has released 800 tigers and lions to clamp down on citizen’s movement across the country.

This according to reports was to stem the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Russia, a country of 146 million people has about 253 infected people and one recorded death. According to the government a 79-year-old woman with underlying health issues who tested positive for the new coronavirus had died from pneumonia on Thursday, making it the country’s first confirmed death resulting from the virus.

READ ALSO: Russia to use mobile phones to track people at risk of coronavirus — PM

However, a check by Vanguard shows that the reports were not factual.

Many social media users shared a pictorial image, displaying that “Vladimir Putin has given Russians two options, which include:

You stay at home for 2 weeks or you go to jail for 5years. No middle ground.

And the second reads:

RUSSIA: Vladimir Putin has Dropped 800 tigers and Lions all over the Country to push people to stay Home.. Stay Safe Everyone!!

As it is Vanguard’s mission to impact positively on the society by providing high quality, reliable and affordable media products, the above reporter gathered that the pictorial image of a lion roaming on the street, took place in 2016. which published the report tagged ‘Lion casually walks through city centre’, said that the lion, called Columbus, was brought for filming by a production crew in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2016.

Below are some images alleging that Putin released 800 tigers/lions to force citizens to stay at home to avoid the spread of coronavirus, which hitherto are not different from the 2016 images published by

Enjoy the pictures:

See the same pictures as used in 2016: