Old, unrelated videos peddled as visuals of crocodiles in Haryana's flooded streets

By: Rahul Adhikari
July 12 2023

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Old, unrelated videos peddled as visuals of crocodiles in Haryana's flooded streets


The Verdict False

One video is from Gujarat, and another from Madhya Pradesh. They were filmed when crocodiles entered residential areas after heavy rainfall.

Claim ID 05ff8fc7


Over the past few days, flash floods and landslides caused by persistent rainfall killed several people in the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh and brought the rest of northern India to its knees. Several parts witnessed waterlogging, traffic snarls, and road blockages. 

As authorities scrambled to provide assistance, videos, and images of waterlogged areas in different states inundated social media. Two videos, in particular, have gained significant traction online. Both videos show a crocodile in waterlogged streets and have been shared with the claim that the reptile was spotted in Ambala, a city in Haryana where several residential areas were flooded because of the downpour. 

One of the viral videos shows a crocodile in a flooded residential area, with a man attempting to tame and pull it with a rope. One tweet shared the video claiming it was from Geeta Nagar in Ambala. Some users shared the video claiming it to be from Kharar in Punjab. The caption of one such post read, "Crocodile now found in residential area of Kharar. SCARY."

Captured from a rooftop, the other video also depicts a crocodile swimming through a waterlogged street. One Twitter user shared it with the caption, "In the streets of Ambala," and the tweet had garnered over 2,64,000 views at the time of publishing. Zee News also published this video on its website, making the same claim. An archived version of the post can be found here.

However, both videos are old and are not from Ambala.

In Fact

We conducted a reverse image search on the keyframes of both viral videos and found that the videos are old and unrelated to the recent rampage caused by rains in northern India. The first video was reportedly captured in Vadodara, Gujarat, in 2019, and the second video was taken in Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh, in 2022.

Video showing a man pulling a crocodile with a rope

The video had first gone viral in 2020 with false claims of it showing an incident from Hyderabad. The Hyderabad City Police had shared a tweet clarifying that the video was, in fact, from Gujarat and not Hyderabad.

We found that on August 4, 2019, The Times of India published a video report about a crocodile rescue from one waterlogged locality. We compared the viral video with the news report and noticed that the same person, wearing a brown t-shirt and a cap, was seen trying to pull the crocodile with a rope in both recordings. We also spotted another person, dressed in a blue t-shirt, in both videos, proving that they captured the same incident. The video's description stated that instances of crocodiles entering residential areas were recorded following heavy rainfall that flooded the streets of Vadodara, and in one such incident, a 10-foot-long crocodile had entered a housing society in the Vadsar area.

On August 4, 2019, NDTV published a report on the incidents of crocodiles entering the waterlogged streets of Vadodara. Some visuals from the viral video were part of the news bulletin. The report stated that the reptile was eventually rescued. 

YouTube user 'Deb Maru' had uploaded an extended version of the viral video on August 4, 2019. The video was titled "Crocodiles on the Flooded Streets of Vadodara," and a part of it was shared with false claims.

The deputy commissioner of Mohali, Punjab, also released a statement on Twitter debunking the news of a crocodile being spotted in Kharar. The tweet, written in Punjabi and translated into English, stated, "The claim of a crocodile in rainwater in Pir Sohana village of Kharar is a rumor. The district administration urges everyone not to believe such rumors and to report any spreaders of such rumors to the district administration control room at 0172-2219505."

Video captured from a rooftop

Our research showed that the second viral video was filmed in Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh, when an 8-foot-long crocodile entered a flooded street in a residential area. The Times of India had published this video on August 17, 2022, in a news report titled "8-foot long crocodile enters residential area in Shivpuri."

ETV Bharat had also published the video on YouTube on August 16, 2022, titled "Crocodile enters residential colony in Shivpuri in MP, rescued." According to the video description, the crocodile was sighted in a colony near the old bus stand in Shivpuri. Upon discovering the reptile in their area, locals immediately alerted the authorities. A rescue team from Madhav National Park promptly arrived at the location, and after an hour-long operation, the crocodile was successfully rescued.

The Verdict

Two old and unrelated videos— one reportedly captured in Vadodara, Gujarat, in 2019, and the other filmed in 20222 in Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh—are being shared falsely to claim that crocodiles were spotted in Haryana's Ambala recently as heavy rains lashed north India. Therefore, we mark the claim false.

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