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Fact Check-Video of dead sheep on a mountain can be traced back to 2021

Warning: some links in this article contain distressing content

A video showing dozens of sheep carcasses on a mountain has been circulating online since at least August 21, 2021, but social media users shared it in June 2022 with claims that it depicts a recent event.

The 45-second-long clip resurfaced following reports of the death of at least 2,000 cattle in Kansas. As reported by Reuters, state officials and industry members attributed them to extreme heat and humidity ( nL1N2Y22CI ). Reuters previously addressed false allegations around this incident ( here ).

“Another one, this time it's sheep. We all know it's not climate change but what could cause this?” reads a tweet sharing the video, which had been retweeted over 5,039 times as this article was written ( here ).

“They are going to kill our food supply and lie to us and tell us it’s due to climate change and global warming,” another Facebook user wrote ( here ).

Other iterations are viewable ( here ) ( here ) ( here ).

The video is not from June 2022, however, and can be traced back to August 2021, when it was shared alongside reports of an event in Georgia.

Reuters found a higher resolution version of the footage was posted on Facebook by local outlet Javakheti News on August 9, 2021 ( here ).

Javakheti News reported at the time that around 550 sheep died after a lightning strike. According to the headline, the video was filmed on Didi Abuli, a mountain in the southern part of the country.

Officials said at the time they did not have an official cause of death, and that they were investigating the incident ( agenda.ge/en/news/2021/2299 ).

Georgia’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

A 2016 interview by The Verge with a former Lightning Safety Specialist at the U.S. National Weather Service looks at why lighting can kill several people or animals at the same time, and how animals are more vulnerable to ground currents ( here ).

Reports from similar previous events, including one instance involving over 300 reindeer, are viewable online ( here ) ( here ) ( here ) ( here ).

VERDICT

Miscaptioned. This video does not show an event in June 2022. It has been circulating online since August 2021, when it was shared alongside reports that over 550 sheep were killed following a lightning strike.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .

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