Fact Check

Is This a Photograph of an Elephant Carrying a Lion Cub?

A photograph of an elephant carrying a lion cub should need to be real to be considered the "best photo of this century."

Published Sep 18, 2018

A photograph shows an elephant carrying a lion cub.

An image showing an elephant carrying a lion cub with its trunk took another lap around the internet in September 2018, after it was labeled "one of the best photos of the century" and attached to a backstory reporting that the elephant was saving the cub from exhaustion:

Considered one of the best photos of this century. A lioness and her cub were walking but the heat was excessive and the puppy was in great distress walking. The elephant realized that his cub would die and carried him to a pool of water alongside his mother. Wild animals huh?

This image can't be fairly considered one of the best photographs of this century, because it's not a genuine photograph.

The image of the elephant carrying a lion cub with its trunk was created by Kruger National Park and shared to the South Africa organization's official Twitter account, Kruger Sightings, on April Fool's Day in 2018. The original posting was accompanied by the words "Sloof Lirpa," or "April Fools" backwards:

The picture of the elephant was taken in 2005 at Kruger National Park. Here's a side-by-side comparison of the original elephant photograph (left) and the doctored image showing the elephant carrying a lion cub (right):

The original image of the lion cub comes was taken at the Werribee Open Range Zoo in Australia:

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.