Video of crocodile in a residential area is not from Karachi
Video originated from Mahisagar district in India’s Gujarat
Claim: A crocodile crept into a residential area of Karachi.
Fact: The video is not from Karachi, Pakistan, but from the Mahisagar district of India’s Gujarat state.
On 26 September 2023, Facebook user ‘ALi Khan AK’ posted a video (archive) showing a group of men trying to capture what appears to be a crocodile in a residential area of Karachi and wrote the following caption:
“Crocodile in Residential area of Gulshan e Iqbal, Karachi 🇵🇰”
‘ALi Khan AK’ linked his Instagram and Snapchat accounts in the caption as well in a likely attempt to gain a bigger audience on all social media platforms.
Fact or Fiction?
Soch Fact Check first identified the white vehicle parked in the background as a Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire, a car produced in India. Its shape and features can be tallied with the pictures shown at the 0:31, 0:50, and 1:31 marks in this video on the YouTube channel ZigWheels.
The car’s registration number plate does not resemble those of vehicles in Pakistan.
For further verification, we reached out to fact-checkers at BOOMLive, an India-based outlet accredited by the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN), of which Soch Fact Check is also a signatory. They sent us two videos — here and here — that carry similar visuals; the former is the exact same clip, while the latter is of the same incident but shot from a different angle.
The first video was posted on 26 September 2023 by ‘Sourav Piru Vlogs’, a Facebook page whose ‘page transparency’ states the primary location for people who manage it is India. The post is captioned, “A crocodile was caught in a residential area after heavy rains in Mahisagar district.”
The caption mentions rain, which Soch Fact Check corroborated by checking Indian media reports of rain in Mahisagar, Gujarat, published by Deccan Herald on 17 September, The Indian Express, CNBC TV18, The Week, DeshGujarat, and Devdiscourse on 18 September, and The Times of India on 19 September.
The second video — the one from a different angle — was posted on 21 September 2023 by Abdullah Asraf, whose Facebook bio states they studied at Gujarat University but now live in Kuwait. It is accompanied by the caption, “Crocodile Rescue By Forest Staff Good Job. Save life and Help People.”
We matched the elements in the background, as well as the clothes the people are wearing in the two videos, and found them to be similar.
Taking into account that no major local media outlet reported on news of an escaped crocodile, there is ample evidence to conclude that the video is not from Pakistan.
This is not the first time false reports of a crocodile creeping into a residential area of Karachi went viral.
Back in 2020, Soch Fact Check investigated and debunked a viral video claiming that a crocodile had escaped the Manghopir Shrine due to urban flooding following heavy monsoon rainfall, forcing residents of Karachi to catch it.
Soch Fact Check also found that the same individual, Muhammad Ali Khan, has created multiple profiles, pages, and accounts on Instagram and Facebook, many of which are verified with a blue checkmark.
The following list contains all of their social media accounts that we could find, the links to the videos, and the number of views they garnered.
In fact, the video also ended up on the YouTube channel Publicity Channel, which wrote, “کراچی، گلشن اقبال کے رہائشی علاقے میں مگرمچھ نکل ایا جسے کچھ بہادر شہریوں نے مشکل سے قابو کیا [A crocodile came out in Karachi’s residential area, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, and some brave citizens caught it with difficulty].”
Conclusion: The video is not from Karachi, Pakistan, but from Mahisagar district of India’s Gujarat state.
Background image in cover photo: Amber Kipp
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