Crocodiles Escaped into Flood Waters of Chennai.
1. 40 Crocodiles had Escaped the Madras Crocodile Bank on East Coast Road of Chennai.
2. In Flooded Chennai, 'Crocodiles Have Escaped'.
3. Crocodiles Have Escaped through Floods in Chennai.
Hoax or Fact:
Stories doing rounds through social media websites, free messaging apps like WhatsApp and also local Television news channels warn people in Chennai that 40 or more Crocodiles have Escaped into the devastating flood waters caused by torrential rains in late 2015. With Chennai declared as disaster zone, and fish and tadpoles seen swimming in the first floor of a house in Chennai (second picture in Image Gallery), the current claims created panic among the people in the state. But thankfully, these stories saying Crocodiles have escaped through flood waters in Chennai are just rumors, not facts.
After the forwarded messages that there are crocodiles on the loose in the flood waters of Chennai became popular on social media sites and instant messaging apps, some local TV channels thought it to be true and even flashed it as news. It was said that around 40-50 crocodiles reportedly escaped into the flood waters of Chennai from the Madras Crocodile Bank, after floods broke certain security walls, and that the areas of concern are OMR (Old Mahabalipuram Road), Velachery and Madipakkam. Unfortunately, all this caused panic among the residents already struggling in those flood hit areas of Chennai.
It is a fact that the Chennai zoo is flooded due to continuous heavy rains and flood water, because of which a 40-year-old wall around the zoo was also damaged. But the zoo officials said all animals are safe. After the aforementioned rumors of crocodiles in flood waters became popular, the NGO Madras Crocodile Bank Trust issued a statement on their Facebook page denying the claims emphatically:
Now the news is doing the rounds again. Once again there have been no containment issues. Our park is closed for...Posted by Madras Crocodile Bank Trust/Centre for Herpetology on Tuesday, December 1, 2015
The NGO said that their crocodile farm has a wall built all around, and its security measures are fool-proof. They also assured that all their crocodiles are accounted, and their staff was working round the clock to watch the animals. Explaining about the rumors, Zai Whitaker of the Madras Crocodile Bank told dnaindia.com that several media people have come to call and meet them, and learn that not all news is true. The official added that the 'crocodiles have escaped' rumor has happened earlier as well, even during the 1985 cyclone.
The Picture of Crocodile in Water
The picture shown as a Crocodile sighting in flood waters of Chennai, also shared by some local news channels, has been around online since at least 2009. It is usually used as a descriptive example of a 'Crocodile in Water,' and is also falsely attributed with other stories like 'Crocodile sighted at Pushkar Ghat near Ibrahimpatnam' and a 'Palmview couple spotted the Reptile in Rio Bravo Waters of Texas, United States'. But the picture appears to show a saltwater crocodile in Adelaide River of Australia, as described here.
So the stories saying Crocodiles have escaped through the flood waters of Chennai are simply hoaxes. Readers are advised not to share and spread such false stories that create panic in a disaster struck area like Chennai.
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