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A harrowing image of a group of burned sheep lying dead in a field is making the rounds on Facebook.
While the image alone is uncaptioned, it was shared as part of a gallery post on Jan. 4. The collection’s caption claims that the photos in the gallery are examples of the devastation that the current Australia fires has had on the country’s animals. We found that many of the 29 photos included in that post were incorrectly labeled.
In this case, the photo is real and was taken in Australia, but it is not from the current bushfires.
The photo was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
The photo was taken in Australia –– but in January 2013.
The image, which we found included in a Jan. 11, 2013, CNN article, shows a group of sheep lying in a New South Wales field after devastating bushfires swept through the area.
The caption below the image reads: "Burned sheep lie in a paddock near Bookham in New South Wales on Wednesday. An estimated 10,000 sheep have died in the New South Wales bushfires."
The photo was not manipulated and does show animals killed from bushfires in Australia, but it was taken several years ago. We rate this Mostly False.
Facebook post, Jan. 4, 2019
PolitiFact, Several photos of animals in viral post not from Australia fires, or this year, Jan. 7, 2020
Tin Eye, reverse-image search, Jan. 7, 2020
CNN, Australia's farmers on the front line of global weather extremes, Jan. 11, 2013
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