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Fake News: 400-pound Woman Did NOT Sue NC Zoo After Escaped Hippo Tried To Rape Her During Hurricane Florence

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Mon, 17 Sep 2018 17:55:22 Z)

Is 64-year-old Clementine Gibbons sueing the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro after a hippo escaped during hurricane Florence and tried to rape her? No, that's not true: a site that publishes invented stories about bizarre crimes and weird sex acts (purely for entertainment purposes) just copied an old hoax and reposted it as new. It did not happen for real.

The new twist on the old story appeared in an article published by World News Daily Report on September 16, 2018 titled "Hurricane Florence: 400-pound woman sues NC Zoo after escaped hippo tried to rape her" (archived here) which opened:

Asheboro, NC | The North Carolina Zoo is being sued after a woman claims she was sexually assaulted by a hippopotamus that had escaped the zoo for only a few hours yesterday.

The large semiaquatic mammal apparently was able to slip out of its enclosure last night after massive flooding and a fallen tree severely damaged the security fence.

Clementine Gibbons, 64, is suing the zoo's administration after she claims she was sexually assaulted by the huge beast after she was returning home that night.

Screenshot of https://worldnewsdailyreport.com/400-pound-woman-sues-paris-zoo-after-escaped-hippo-tried-to-rape-her/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail and some of them may have believed it:

Hurricane Florence: 400-pound woman sues NC Zoo after escaped hippo tried to rape her

Asheboro, NC | The North Carolina Zoo is being sued after a woman claims she was sexually assaulted by a hippopotamus that had escaped the zoo for only a few hours yesterday. The large semiaquatic mammal apparently was able to slip out of its enclosure last night after massive flooding and a fallen

Only eight months ago the same site posted the same hoax with the same pictures but set in Paris, France:

Fake News: 400-pound Woman Did NOT Sue Paris Zoo, Escaped Hippo Did NOT Try to Rape Her | Lead Stories

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below. A 54-year old woman by the name of Geraldine Boudin did not sue the Paris Zoological Park and she did not claim a hippopotamus that escaped the zoo sexually assaulted her. The story is a complete fabrication originating on a humor website.

As we noted back then the woman in the picture has been dead since 2012 and the hippo picture was taken in Tblisi, Georgia. It seems unlikely they reunited in North Carolina during a hurricane.

The website World News Daily Report is a well known satire website specialized in posting hoaxes and made up stories. The disclaimer on their website is pretty clear about that even though you have to scroll all the way down the page to find it:

World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.

It is run by Janick Murray-Hall and Olivier Legault, who also run the satirical Journal de Mourréal, a satirical site spoofing the (real) Journal de Montéal. Very often their stories feature an image showing a random crazy mugshot found in a mugshot gallery on the internet or on a stock photo website superimposed over a background of flashing police lights or crime scene tape.

Articles from the site are frequently copied (sometimes even months or years later) by varous fake news websites that omit the satire disclaimer and present the information as real.

We wrote about worldnewsdailyreport.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

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