Some of the videos of animals being 'rescued' from the Australian wildfires are fake

Greg Evans
Tuesday 14 January 2020 17:00
news

We can all agree that the footage of animals struggling to overcome the devastating wildfires in Australia has been hard to watch.

Indigenous animals such as koalas and kangaroos have seen their natural habitats destroyed by the flames, while close to a billion animals have died as a result of the fires.

Beyond donating money to animal charities, it can be hard to know how you could begin to even start helping the creatures whose heartbreaking plight has affected many who have seen the clips.

One way that some feel that they can deal with the stress of seeing the animals in such troubling circumstances is to share viral videos of the animals either seeking refuge or being helped by people who spot them in need, almost as a way of raising awareness.

Here are a few examples.

All of these videos are legit and have been recorded since the fires began in late 2019.

However, a disturbing trend has emerged of people sourcing old videos, long before the fires began but are being re-shared on social media and have been repacked as if to pretend that they recently occurred.

One of the first offenders is this clip of a koala holding a man's hand after he gives him a drink from a bottle of water. A tweet claimed that it "was the defining moment of humanity after bush fire subsided."

This video is actually 12 months old and was first reported on in January of 2019. Although it was captured during a heatwave in Adelaide there was no wildfire.

Another viral clip, that has been viewed more than 17 million times, features a kangaroo hugging a woman in a white dress who had apparently just saved its life.

This video is actually of a kangaroo named Abi who was rescued years before the fires began and has become famous for hugging the staff at the wildlife sanctuary in Brolga & Tahnee where she lives.

The woman in the clip, InStyle editor Laura Brown, has called out those that are sharing the clip. In an Instagram post, Brown explained that there were no fires near the sanctuary and encouraged others to donate money rather than sharing 'clickbait.'

This image of a koala that has apparently been saved by a dog from a fire is also fake.

It won't shock you to learn that this little koala was not saved by the dog and it wasn't feeling from a fire.

The moment actually occurred in September 2018 and according to news.com.au involved the koala seeking a warm place to rest after being separated from its mother.

This picture from Instagram was shared on January 4 and has already received more than 7000 likes but you'd hardly have to be Poirot to realise what was going on here.

This isn't even close to being real and has been taken from the account of digital artist thuie who updated the original post to inform people that photo was actually an edit and not real at all.

People have begun to call out this worrying trend on Twitter but it's not always obvious when you see one of these videos or photos on your timeline.

So, next time you see one take some time to do a few minutes of research and think before you hit the share button.

More: Plants photographed regrowing in ashes of Australian fires​

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