No, video doesn't show 'drunk' leopard in Assam

By: Anurag Baruah
September 6 2023

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No, video doesn't show 'drunk' leopard in Assam


The Verdict False

The video is from Madhya Pradesh. It shows a sick leopard suffering from canine distemper causing the animal to display unusual behavior.

Claim ID 5c438bab


A video of a leopard behaving oddly has gone viral with the claim that the animal was in an inebriated state after consuming local liquor. The viral video showed a mob laughing, jeering, and taking selfies with the feline. People are seen patting the leopard and even trying to ride it, but the wid animal strangely neither roars nor attacks anyone. The video was posted on the Facebook page of Assamese news portal UA News. The post caption read, “The leopard consumed liquor at a place selling local country liquor, and the people had to accompany him home (translated from Assamese).” The post, which has received over 220,000 views so far, carried the hashtag ‘Assam’ and implied that the incident took place in the northeastern state. It even mentioned the kind of local liquor brewed in the state.

Another Assamese news portal, TIME8, shared the video on Facebook with the claim that the leopard forgot his identity and became friends with humans after consuming local liquor.

Facebook posts by UA News and TIME8. (Source: Facebook/UA News, TIME8)

The video is also viral on other social media platforms with similar claims. 

The video allegedly showing a 'drunk' leopard is also circulating on X.

However, the animal in the video is a sick leopard who was not ‘drunk.’ The incident of the wild cat being harassed by villagers before being rescued by forest officials was covered widely by national media, but the Assamese media misreported the event. 

What did we find?

We found a video news report by The Times of India (TOI) published on August 31, 2023, which included the viral clip. The report stated that the video was from Dewas district in Madhya Pradesh. The leopard was suffering from a neurological disorder, which explained its unusual behavior even as people played with it, the report said. It added the animal was brought to Indore Zoo for treatment after villagers found it.

Screenshot of the video filmed in Madhya PRadesh. (Source: The Times of India)

According to another TOI report from August 31, the leopard was caught on camera being harassed by villagers at Dewas’ Iklera village, which is around 95km from Indore. The video was filmed on August 29 and went viral the next day. The report also noted that the mob of villagers played and took selfies with the sick animal and tried to ride it.

Another TOI report from September 1 quoted Dr. Uttam Yadav, the Indore Zoo in-charge, saying that the animal seemed to have shown some improvement in health but was still under observation, and blood tests were being performed to decide further line of treatment. The report also added that the leopard was suspected to be suffering from a neurological disorder due to possible canine distemper or rabies dumb form. 

What do officials say?

Logically Facts contacted Nihar Parulekar, Curator and Education Officer at Indore Zoo, who said that the leopard had been shifted to the forest range office in Dewas for further treatment. “The leopard was shifted as the case of canine distemper was confirmed from the test, and there was a risk of spreading it to other zoo inmates,” Parulekar told Logically Facts. He also said the leopard was alive, contrary to what some media reports claimed.

Canine distemper, a serious and contagious disease caused by a virus, is known to make leopards weak. Animals infected with it may develop fever, become unresponsive, and refuse to eat or drink.

Dr. Yadav also confirmed to Logically Facts that the leopard was suffering from canine distemper, which caused its unusual behavior. “An animal can exhibit symptoms of neurological disorder like in the case of the leopard when it gets infected with canine distemper,” he said. 

The verdict

The viral video does not show a ‘drunk’ leopard in Assam. It is actually from Madhya Pradesh, where some villagers caught a leopard suffering from a neurological disease. Therefore, we mark the claim false.

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