Is this the 'first look' video of cheetahs brought from Namibia to India?

In the flurry of misinformation, a video is now being shared by media outlets and journalists claiming it to be the first look of the recently-arrived cats.

By Md Mahfooz Alam  Published on  20 Sep 2022 2:27 PM GMT
Is this the first look video of cheetahs brought from Namibia to India?

Hyderabad: After eight African cheetahs—five females and three males—were translocated from Namibia to India under Project Cheetah, several unsubstantiated claims and misinformation started doing the rounds on social media.

It started with the claim that the cheetahs were being brought in a special Indian carrier that was painted with the face of a Cheetah. Then a photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi clicking pictures of the cheetahs with the camera lens cover on started doing the rounds. Both these claims were debunked by NewsMeter.

In the flurry of misinformation, a video is now being shared by media outlets and journalists claiming it to be the first look of the recently-arrived cats.



Akhilesh Yadav, the former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, also shared the video with misleading claims.


Several other users shared the video on Twitter. Click here and here to view the posts.

Fact Check

NewsMeter performed a reverse image search and found the video posted on Reddit 10 months ago. The video is titled "A bond between two brothers, Kitu and Lavani."


Taking a cue from this, we ran a keyword search about Kitu and Lavani and found the same video, titled "Kitu and Lavani's Special Relationship," on the Youtube channel The Wildcat Sanctuary. It was uploaded on 29 November 2021.


The Wildcat Sanctuary is in Minnesota, USA. According to its website, 11-year-old cheetah brothers Kitu and Lavani were welcomed at the sanctuary in April 2021. "These elderly cheetah brothers were retired from an AZA-accredited zoo where they were part of the Survival Species Plan (SSP), an international program which ensures the survival of certain species which are threatened or endangered in the wild and needed a permanent retirement home," according to the website.

We also found a press release issued by the Wildcat Sanctuary on 21 April 2021. It read, "The Wildcat Sanctuary is pleased to announce it is now the permanent retirement home for two 11-year-old male cheetahs named Lavani and Kitu. The senior cheetah brothers were retired from an AZA-accredited zoo in California and needed a permanent retirement home. The Wildcat Sanctuary immediately offered to take in the big cats and provide transportation for the 4000-mile round trip. They have just arrived at The Wildcat Sanctuary and are settling in to their new home."

The video has been online before the cheetahs arrived in India from Namibia. Hence, the claim that it is the first look of the translocated cheetahs is false.

Claim Review:Video of first look of cheetahs brought from Namibia to India
Claimed By:Social Media users
Claim Source:Social Media
Claim Fact Check:False
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