Are zoo animals being let free during the French riots?

Are zoo animals being let free during the French riots?

Videos and claims of zoo animals 'being let loose in Paris' have gone viral across social media following riots across the country.

The fatal shooting by police of 17-year-old boy Nahel in the Paris suburb of Nanterre last Tuesday (27 June) prompted the riots.

Cars have been torched, shops have been looted, and there have been attacks on town halls and state-owner properties, according to Reuters.

Gatherings were held outside the town halls across France on Monday (3 June), and the grandmother of the teenage victim has called for calm.

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Now, there's a wave of false narratives circulating online, including videos of zoo animals "being set free" to the streets of Paris.

This couldn't be further from the truth, and they're nothing but old, repurposed videos.

One clip being shared showed a lion roaming a street. Newschecker dated that footage back to 2020, but now people online are falsely linked to the riots in France.

Another showed a zebra on the so-called streets of Paris. Once again, it is simply an old clip.

Meanwhile, one viral TikTok montage showed animals on the streets, including lions, gorillas, an elephant and a rhino. The uploader of the false narrative asked: "France, what's going on?"


Like France what's going on? can anyone explain this? #france #paris #riot #pariszoo #parisriot #zoo #animals #escape #viral #dc #foryou #dlaciebie

Despite the scenes, a travel expert has urged holidaymakers to not cancel their trips to France but to stay "flexible" and avoid big cities at night.

The UK Government updated its guidance for travellers to France to warn of "potential disruption" but it does not advise against travel to the country.

Health Secretary Steve Barclay encouraged people considering travelling to France to check the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) for updated advice.

Paul Charles, founder of travel consultancy The PC Agency, suggested people should not cancel their trips as they would not be covered by their travel insurance unless the FCDO advised against travel to France.

He told the PA news agency: "It’s clearly a nerve-wracking time for those planning to go, it’s vital to keep up to date with the latest news because it’s such a fast-moving situation and UK travellers are going to have to be flexible in their planning.

"My advice would be to stay clear for the moment of big cities in the evenings, make sure you are not going to areas where there is likely to be large protests taking place and seek advice from the hotel you are staying in or from local websites which are being updated about the situation."

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