Misleading: Video shows a leopard attack at the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun.

By: Anurag Baruah
January 11 2023

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Misleading: Video shows a leopard attack at the Forest Research Institute in Dehradun.


The Verdict Misleading

The video is of an incident from the Rain Forest Research Institute in Jorhat, Assam, and not from Dehradun.

Claim ID 2d0fda4e


Dehradun's Forest Research Institute (FRI) has recently grabbed headlines because of multiple leopard sightings. According to a report by The Times of India from December 2022, the FRI had to announce a 'shutdown' from December 29, 2022, to January 15, 2023, after a leopard family was spotted multiple times. Another report by The Times of India from January 9 provided an update on the situation, adding that the institute has now partially opened, but visitors are only allowed during the day and on the main track and building.

In this context, a video was shared on Facebook on December 30, 2022, claiming that it shows a leopard attack at FRI in Dehradun. In the video, the leopard leaps over a fence and attacks a car before running away. The post warned people to be careful and noted that the FRI had been shut for 15 days in light of frequent leopard attacks. However, the video is of a different incident.

In Fact

After conducting a reverse image search on the keyframes of the viral video, we found that the same clip was published as part of a report by Hindustan Times on December 27, 2022. The news report was shared with the headline: "Leopard jumps over fence, pounces on a car in Assam; Scary attack caught on camera | Watch." According to the report, the video shows a leopard attack incident at the Rain Forest Research Institute (RFRI) at Jorhat in Assam. The report added that at least 13 people, including three forest officials, were injured in 24 hours by the same leopard. 

The reverse image search also led us to another news report by India Today NE, which carried a longer version of the clip. The report, published on December 26, 2022, mentions that the leopard first attacked a family in the Sotai area of Jorhat in the early hours of the day. It later jumped on the passenger vehicle seen in the viral clip while trying to escape. The clip also showed the leopard jumping out from inside another vehicle while officials shoot at it.

Taking a cue from this, we performed a keyword search and found that Hemanta Kumar Nath, a journalist based in Assam and working for the news agency ANI, had uploaded the same video on Twitter on December 26, 2022. In his caption, he mentioned that the incident was from Jorhat in Assam and that the leopard had injured 13 people. We could also hear people speaking in the Assamese language in the video, confirming that the video is from Assam. 

We also came across a news report published on the Facebook page of a regional satellite channel, DY365, regarding the incident. The video report mentions that the incident of the leopard attack took place at the Rainforest Research Institute of Jorhat, and the injured were admitted to the Jorhat Medical College. 

The Verdict

The video of the leopard attack being shared on social media is from the Rain Forest Research Institute (RFRI) located at Jorhat in Assam and not from the Forest Research Institute (FRI) in Dehradun. While leopard attacks were taking place at the two institutes around the same time, the video being shared is of an incident in Assam. Therefore, we have marked the claim as misleading.

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We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before