UPDATE: Fact-checkers reveal elephant seal was NOT running the streets of Florida during Hurricane Ian

UPDATE: Fact-checkers reveal elephant seal was NOT running the streets of Florida during Hurricane Ian. Image: @IndeedsTopOpps/Twitter

AP News fact-checkers have revealed that a video showing a seal reportedly running the streets of Florida following Hurricane Ian is NOT from the US or from this year.

UPDATE: 2.32 pm (October 1) – Videos appeared on social media on Thursday, September 29 showing an elephant seal reportedly in Florida following the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian.

However, according to fact-checkers, the video was actually captured in Chile back in 2020.

According to AP News fact-checkers, the video was captured in Puerto Cisnes, Chile in October 2020 by local radio host Manuel Novoa.

He told the AP: “The video of the elephant seal belongs to me and was recorded in Puerto Cisnes, Chile when an elephant seal came out of the sea and entered the city and travelled through several streets.”

This is not the first time a video has either been mislabeled or deliberately edited.

Back in August, an edited video purporting to show that Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO, is unvaccinated sparked and perpetuated anti-vax sentiment online despite the original version- showing Tedros clearly stating he is vaccinated- being available online.


ORIGINAL 12.58 pm (September 29) – Videos circulating on social media on Thursday, September 29 reveal the chaos caused by Hurricane Ian, with reporters using condoms to keep their mics dry to a seal running along the streets of Florida.

“Seal on the street, a normal day in Florida,” one person noted, as the video got shared hundreds of times on Twitter.

The original video was posted by the Twitter account @IndeedsTopOpps and has amassed over 26k retweets and 186k likes.

“son wtf goin on in Florida???” the caption read.

One person commented: “Think we need to take climate change seriously before it’s to late ppl.”

While another joked: “Me, going for my first run in a few months.”

The viral video of the seal comes after a Florida reporter defended putting a condom on her microphone during a Hurricane Ian broadcast.

“A lot of people are asking what is on the microphone,” the reporter said.

“It is what you think it is.”

She adds: “It’s a condom!

“It protects the gear, we can’t get these mics wet.

“There’s a lot of wind, a lot of rain.

“We’ve got to do, what we’ve got to do!”

Holding the mic close to the camera, she adds: “And that is, put a condom on the microphone.”

As reported on Wednesday, September 28, Hurricane Ian was on the brink of becoming a monster Category 5 storm.

Hurricane Ian battered parts of western Florida and was being tipped to become a monster Category 5 storm.

It had already been upgraded from category 3 to 4 and looked like it could turn into one of the worst hurricanes to ever hit the United States.

Another viral video which has been making the rounds on social media was old footage of US President Joe Biden declaring “a vital part of preparing for hurricane season is to get vaccinated now”.

The footage, which shows Biden speaking to reporters in August 2021, has gone viral again.

He said: “Let me be clear if you’re in a state where hurricanes often strike, like Florida, the Gulf Coast, or into Texas, a vital part of preparing for hurricane season is to get vaccinated now.

“Everything is more complicated if you’re not vaccinated when a natural disaster hits.”


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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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