Local police authorities have issued an official statement on their Weibo account saying that recent photos of a tiger being disemboweled on the streets of Guangzhou are a hoax. On the 21st of January, gruesome photos of a butchered tiger lying next to a set of scales claiming to be sold on a street in the Huadu District of Guangzhou City were published on the Internet by netizen @inesita_w.
Numerous news sources were already skeptical about the story with the alleged location of the incident constantly changing. In today’s public statement, the police have confirmed these doubts, asserting that these images had surfaced in the past as attempted evidence of illegal animal trading. However, the exact location of the cruelty always changed.
Whether or not the pictures are real, news outlets have been duped before by images way less realistic. The People’s Daily was recently subjected to being punk’d by a fake Internet story about a ‘nuclear-mutated’ giant squid, pictures of which were quite obviously photoshopped. If these tiger images were likewise photoshopped, then someone did a pretty fine job.
The Guangzhou Huapu District Police, meanwhile, have reminded netizens to continue loving animals but to retain a critical eye when surfing the Internet; thereby appeasing animal activists whilst providing us with a novel idea–that the internet may in fact, not always be factual. Hm.
By Mandy Liang