FALSE ALARM

FACT CHECK: Stray lions not spotted at Embakasi ICD

In Summary

• KWS confirms photos taken in India at the Pipavav Port 

• Says people should refrain from sending such false alarms because it is a waste of resources and they cause unnecessary tension".

On Thursday several media houses broke the news that four stray lions had been spotted at the Embakasi Internal Container Depot.

Immediately after the alert, the Star contacted the Kenya Wildlife Service, who in response said they had deployed their teams to the site to verify.

Meanwhile, it emerged on social media that the alert was a false alarm.

On seeking further clarification from KWS, the Star was told to ignore the pictures as it was a false alarm.

On seeking to get the origin of the photos, the Digital desk established that the photos had been alleged to have been taken at the Alexandria Port in Egypt.

The Port of Alexandria is on the West Verge of the Nile Delta between the Mediterranean Sea and Mariout Lake in Alexandria, Egypt and is considered the second most important city and the main port in the country.

But on further search, the Star established that Reda Ghandour, Alexandria Port Authority spokesman had in an online publication denied what had been circulated via social media platforms “Facebook”, and “Twitter”  about the strolling of at least four lions inside the port.

According to the publication by the name 'SeeNew', Ghandour said though the port at the said time had a ship carrying livestock which was sent to Alexandria dock berth, there was no way predators like lions could be allowed to roam in any port.

While terming the claims baseless, he explained that the circulated images show only containers and a storage yard.

The Star moved deeper to identify the origin and established the photos were taken at the Pipavav Port in India.

A writer by the name Jigar Saraswat had posted the photos saying a group of four lions had been seen in Surendranagar districts at the Pipavav port.

"Scary!! it was like groups of big cats were on a picnic, and everyone surprised and scared by seeing lions group. Now the question is, how does this big group enter in Pipavav port?" he posed.

The writer said the people in the district are used to such jungle areas else, that was not possible in daylight such a big group of lions comes in public place.

"These are not good signs forest department has to take quick steps else we might hear a piece of news like Rajula where a Lion killed a five-year kid," he said.

Port Pipavav is the first port in the private sector in India.

It is on the West Coast of India for containers, bulk and liquid cargo.

The port's lead promoter is APM Terminals, one of the largest container terminal operators in the world.

The services include pilotage/towage, cargo handling and logistics support.

VERDICT - False

The Star can confidently say the pictures were a false alarm as the site was not in Kenya.

This is backed by KWS who said they had confirmed to pictures originated from India.

Communications director Paul Udoto said, "In fact, we want to discourage people from sending such false alarms because it is a waste of resources and they cause unnecessary tension".

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A screen shot of the Saraswat article
A screen shot of the Saraswat article