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Photos of animals caught in floods unrelated to Ukraine dam attack

Photos of animals caught in floods unrelated to Ukraine dam attack - Featured image

Author(s): AFP Thailand

After the destruction of a major dam in Ukraine unleashed devastating floods, social media posts and news reports falsely linked old photos to the disaster. The pictures of dogs swimming and livestock stranded by the deluge were not taken in Ukraine but during previous flooding in Thailand, Australia and Russia.

“A large number of pets have been left stranded in floodwaters after the giant dam in Kherson area in Ukraine was attacked,” reads a Thai-language tweet posted on June 7.

“Ukraine points its finger at Russia, Russia denies!”

The claim circulated a day after the Kakhovka Dam in the southern Kherson region was destroyed. As of June 13, Ukrainian officials say 10 people have died and 41 have gone missing in the subsequent flooding (archived link).

Kyiv and Moscow have accused each other of blowing up the dam (archived link).

Screenshot of the misleading tweet, taken on June 8, 2023

The photos circulated in similar posts on Facebook and Twitter that falsely said it showed animals stranded after the attack.

A string of Ukrainian news outlets also published the photos in their coverage of the disaster, including here, here and here.

Thailand dogs

A Google reverse image and keyword search found the photo of dogs swimming was taken in Thailand.

The Soi Dog Foundation, a Thai charity which helps stray animals, shared the picture on October 15, 2022 in a Facebook post about dogs and cats affected by flooding in northeastern Thailand (archived link).

Screenshot of the photo published on the original Facebook post, captured on June 9, 2023

The same image was also featured in an article about the foundation’s flood relief for animals in northeastern Thailand in 2022 (archived link).

Chutima Srisawang, a spokeswoman for the Soi Dog Foundation, said the photo was taken by a member of staff on October 10, 2022 in Thailand’s Ubon Ratchathani province.

“The photo was taken by Soi Dog staff who went to deliver food to stranded animals in Ubon Ratchathani,” she told AFP on June 7.

Australia cow

Another reverse image and keyword search on Google found the photo of a cow in a report about floods in Australia in 2021.

The Reuters report from March 2021 reported on torrential rain in several parts of the country that swept away homes, roads and livestock (archived link).

The photo of the cow is credited to Reuters photographer Loren Elliott.

The photo caption reads: “Livestock is seen as floodwaters rise in the suburb of Windsor, as the state of New South Wales experiences widespread flooding and severe weather, in Sydney, Australia, March 22, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott”.

Screenshot of the original photo from the Reuters report in 2021, captured on June 8, 2023

Siberia pig

A reverse image search on Russian search engine Yandex found the image of a pig in an article by Russian newspaper Amurskaya Pravda from July 2019 (archived link).

The article is about flooding in Russia’s far eastern Amur Oblast and the photo is credited to the “Selemdzhinsky District Administration”, a local municipal district government in the region.

Screenshot of the image published in an article from 2019, captured on June 9, 2023

A similar photo appearing to show the same pig evacuated on a boat featured in another article about the floods from 2019.

The Siberian Times published the same photo in a report about major flooding in the Amur region.

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Originally published here.