Photos from 2002 of cow and leopard in Gujarat revived as recent incident in Assam

Photographs of a leopard and a cow are viral on social media, especially on Facebook. Entrepreneur Siddarth Pai tweeted a screenshot of the images shared by a Facebook user.

The story shared with the images claims that the cow and the leopard cuddle at night. This was recently found out in Assam. The complete story reads, “This took place in Assam. A man bought a cow from the neighboring village and brought it home, after that, every night dogs in his village would bark incessantly, suspecting that thieves were taking advantage of the Lock Down, he installed CCTV cameras. These were the videos he was Shocked to see. Going back to the village where he bought the cow, he went to the previous owner and told him about the Leopard,and showed him the pics and videos. The previous owner then told the man the story. When the Leopard was 20 days old, it’s mother was killed, he then brought the cub to the cow who nursed it. When the leopard grew up it was released into the wild. But it always returned to the cow in the still of night to cuddle and rest.”

The post has been shared by several individual users on Facebook.

If only some Humans could learn from this….

This took place in Assam. A man bought a cow from the neighboring village…

Posted by Robindro Sharma on Saturday, 6 June 2020

Some users have shared the story in the backdrop of the tragic death of an elephant in Kerala.

This took place in Assam. A man bought a cow from the neighboring village and brought it home, after that, every night…

Posted by Sydaimran Shaik on Wednesday, 3 June 2020

The pictures were also shared on the occasion of Mothers’s Day in May. The post below has nearly 9,000 shares.

MOTHER’S DAY
These are pictures of a village in Assam (India). A man bought the cow from a neighboring village and…

Posted by John Helios on Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Fact-check

A keyword search on Google led us to an article on the website onforest.com where the same images of a higher resolution are available. The article claims that the strange incident took place in Antoli village in Vadodara district, Gujarat in 2002.

Journalist Shyam Parekh had covered the incident in 2002 for The Times of India’s. The story does not match social media claims. Viral messages allege that the cow used to nurse the leopard when it was young, which is why it came to meet her. However, The Times of India quoted Conservator of forests, Vadodara, H S Singh saying, “Sometimes animal behaviour can get modified. In this case, probably because the leopard which has passed the sub-adult stage, lives in a rural area and not strictly a wild environment.”
Speaking with Alt News, Shyam Parekh informed that several people had expressed disbelief when they heard the story at the time. “We asked a wildlife photographer to click pictures of the animals to corroborate the story. The incident did happen 18 years ago in Gujarat,” he said.

An almost two-decade-old incident from Gujarat was revived on social media with a false, elaborate story and the claim that this happened in Assam.

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