HOAX that three lions escaped a Parisian zoo when rioters broke into it

It is a hoax that the current rioters broke into a Parisian zoo and released some animals inside. It was claimed that three lions escaped the zoo and was seen roaming around the Parisian suburbs at night. Very poor quality, dark videos emerged from social media supposedly tracking the Lions down a suburban street.

It transpires that these videos or video was made three years ago. There is a video of a zebra trotting down a street in the dark. I do not know if that is genuine or not. Here it is:

I’ve also seen a TikTok video of the supposed lions wandering around Paris and it is clearly mislabelled or deliberately incorrectly described because we see a lion pride walking around what appears to be a European lion park of some sort in broad daylight.

It’s just another example of how TikTok video makers try and jump on the bandwagon of news items to garner some precious viewers. They don’t mind if they lie about it.

Apparently, the video of the so-called lions in Paris was located by somebody using a reverse Google search to discover that it already existed in February 2020.

These good people also contacted the zoo in Paris (I don’t have the name of the zoo) and the administrators there assured them that no lion had escaped from their zoo. Therefore, these viral claims on social media and sometimes being picked up by the news media are incorrect.

Note: I believe this alternative story! I am not sure why it is seems more plausible. If you have a third version, please leave a comment :).


There is another video on the internet which adds confusion showing what looks like an antelope walking around a built-up area (Paris?) with parked cars. They claim the video was made during the riots. Here is a screenshot:

Antelope walking around a suburb somewhere at night
Antelope walking around a suburb somewhere at night. Screenshot.

I don’t know what the story is about the zebra. It’s almost certainly a hoax as well because there appears to be no break in and release of animals at this zoo.

I’ll briefly turn to the cause of the protests; Nahel Merzouk was shot by a police officer who was with a fellow police officer on a motorbike tracking Nahel who was apparently speeding in a flashy, canary yellow Mercedes AMG. Because of a traffic jam, he was forced to stop and at that point the two motorcyclists came up alongside, drew their guns and addressed Nahel.

Moments later one of the police officers, a 38-year-old man, who has not been named, fired once at the teenager hitting him in the chest according to a report in The Sunday Times.

Just before the shot, we can hear on a video clip the words: “You are going to get a bullet in the head.”

The police officer, through his lawyer, claimed that it was an accident as the car moved off suddenly and he was jolted upwards as he was about to fire a shot into Nahel’s leg. His gun was forced upwards and the bullet entered the young man’s chest.

No doubt the police will find all kinds of ways and excuses to avoid culpability. It is notable that this killing has shone a light on the number of people fatally shot by French police for not complying with a request to stop their vehicle. A record 13 have been killed in 2022 and they were nearly always of Arab or African origin.

Nahel is the third such individual to die this year under similar circumstances. In Germany there has been one such case in the past 10 years and in the UK, there have been no similar cases. France has a problem and arguably it should not be a surprise that people of ethnic minorities are rioting in the streets in protest.

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Speciesism - 'them and us' | Cruelty - always shameful

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.