Site icon News-EN

Old video of hippos bathing in mud, not filmed in Bangladesh


An old video of hippos in a muddy creek was repeatedly shared in posts falsely claiming the video was filmed in a dried up waterway in southwestern Bangladesh after a suffocating heat wave in April 2024. The video has been circulating online since November 2022 in posts about a national park in Uganda.

“What is this thing that appeared after Saer canal dried up in Satkhira,” read a Bengali Facebook post on April 29, 2024, referring to a canal in the densely populated city of Satkhira in southwestern Bangladesh.

The post included a video showing hippos wallowing in the mud.

It circulated when Bangladesh was in the grip of a heat wave Officials say at least seven people have been killed and authorities have been forced to close schools across the country.

Average temperatures in April were the highest since the country started keeping weather records in 1948.

Extensive scientific research has shown that climate change is causing heat waves to become longer, more frequent and more intense.

Screenshot of the fake post, taken on June 5, 2024

The video was also shared with a similar claim elsewhere on Facebook here And here.

However, the video has nothing to do with the heat wave in Bangladesh.

Uganda National Park

Searching for inverted images using the video’s keyframes showed it was earlier shared in high resolution on Facebook on November 23, 2022 by a Uganda-based travel agency called Wildfriends Africa (archived link).

“Hippos cram themselves into a single muddy water hole in a rush to cool their hairless bodies under the scorching African sun,” read part of the post’s caption.

It added that the video was filmed on the Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the fake messages (left) and the 2022 clip (right):

A screenshot comparison of the fake message (left) and the 2022 video (right)

Joseph Abayo, director of Wildfriends Africa, told AFP on May 20: “The video was actually made by me in 2022 and we found more such videos in the same place.”

The Wildfriends Africa Facebook page also published one similar video taken from the same location on November 23, 2022 (archived link).

Abayo added: “Those who claim it comes from Bangladesh only want to paint a picture of their country’s tourism brand.”

The video was too published by video agency Newsflare in an article about the Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda (archived link).

Wrong location displayed

The video shared in the fake Facebook posts shows a muddy wasteland, unlike the Pran Saer Canal that flows through Satkhira, a densely populated city in southwestern Bangladesh.

Satkhira also has no documented hippo population.

AFP checked images from the Pran Saer channel on Google Maps and found they did not match the video shared in fake posts.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video being shared online in a fake context (left) and a photo tagged on Google Street View of the Pran Saer channel (right):

AFP has debunked other misinformation about the heatwave in Bangladesh here.

Exit mobile version