Old, unrelated videos passed off as footage of recent tiger attack in Assam's Nagaon

By: Anurag Baruah
January 11 2024

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Old, unrelated videos passed off as footage of recent tiger attack in Assam's Nagaon

Social media users are falsely linking unrelated videos to the recent tiger attack in Assam's Nagaon. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The videos are old and unrelated to the recent incident in Assam’s Nagaon district involving a Royal Bengal Tiger.

Claim ID 0f192bd6

(Trigger warning: This story contains distressing visuals and mentions of assault and violence. Reader discretion is advised.)

A 55-year-old farmer was recently mauled to death, and another individual was injured by a Royal Bengal Tiger in Assam’s Nagaon district. The incident, which occurred on January 5, 2024, has generated widespread sensation in the region, becoming a much-discussed topic on social media. According to the latest reports, the tiger is still at large, and the forest department is making efforts to trace its whereabouts. This has led to the emergence of multiple video clips purportedly showing the tiger from Nagaon. 

What is the claim?

In a viral clip on social media, a man is seen being attacked by four tigers, with shots fired and firecrackers thrown in an attempt to chase them away. Another clip shows a tiger loudly roaring and crossing a road illuminated by a vehicle's headlights at night. Both clips were uploaded by a Facebook user as a reel on January 6, 2023, with text overlaid on the video stating 'Terror of tiger in Nonoi at Nagaon' (translated from Assamese).

The caption shared with the video alleges widespread fear of tigers in parts of Nonoi in Assam’s Nagaon district, with multiple injuries reported. The video has garnered approximately 16,000 views. Various social media users have uploaded both clips with similar claims, leading to significant traction. Archived versions of such posts can be accessed here, here, and here.

Screenshots of social media posts sharing the viral videos. (Source: Facebook/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts)

What are the facts?

Both clips are old and unrelated to the recent tiger attack incident in the Nagaon district of Assam. The video showing a man being attacked by four tigers is from China, while the video showing a tiger crossing a road at night is from the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

The tiger attack visuals

A reverse image search using keyframes of the viral tiger attack video led to a video news report published on the official YouTube channel of China Global Television Network (CGTN), a branch of the state-run China Media Group, on January 30, 2017. The description of the video, titled "Man killed by a tiger after scaling wall of zoo to avoid paying for ticket," states that the incident occurred at a zoo in eastern China’s city of Ningbo. It is evident from the visuals of the report that it was discussing the same incident seen in the viral video.

Comparison between screenshots of the viral video and the CGTN video. (Source: Facebook/YouTube/Screenshots/Modified by Logically Facts) 

According to a South China Morning Post report, which carried a screenshot showing similar visuals seen in the viral video, the deceased man surnamed Zhang, along with a friend surnamed Li, had scaled the walls of the zoo to avoid paying at the entrance. 

The tiger crossing the road

After conducting a reverse image search, we found a news report by The New Indian Express published on April 6, 2022, that carried a screenshot of the viral video showing the tiger about to cross the road. The report added that the video is from the Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh and recently went viral on social media platforms with false claims.

Taking a cue from this, we did a keyword search, leading us to a video uploaded on the Facebook page of the Pench Tiger Reserve on August 28, 2022, with the caption, "The original location of the video of Tiger Crossing the road which went viral a few days back." The first part of this video shows the viral video clip with overlaid text saying "Original Site Of The Viral Video," whereas the second part shows a road through a forested area.

The person behind the camera introduces the person seen on screen as a local village official and guide who explains the location seen in the video as the place where the tiger was seen in the viral video. The person behind the camera further points out various features of the location that can also be spotted in the viral video, confirming that both locations are the same.

Comparison of the viral video and the Pench Tiger Reserve Facebook page video. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

Comparison of the viral video and the Pench Tiger Reserve Facebook page video. (Source: Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

We observed similarities in the form of barriers on both sides of the road, a tree on the left-hand side of the road at a short distance away, and a missing barrier on the right side of the road alongside a tree, the trunk of which is prominently visible in both videos. This makes it clear that they are visuals from the same original video.

The verdict

While it is true that a tiger has spread terror in the Nonoi area of the Nagaon district of Assam, the videos in question are old and unrelated to this incident. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.

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