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Hooves padded sandals worn by poachers, not bandits as claimed in this viral message

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Claim: A WhatsApp message (with attached images) claims Nigerian bandits now wear cow hooves padded sandals to deceive soldiers about their movement.

This message is misleading. The pictures were originally shared by ‘Speak out for Animals’, an organisation that advocates for the protection of animals, and the footwear were antelope hooves padded sandals used by poachers to deter ranchers from tracking them in Kruger, South Africa.

Full Text

The security situation in Nigeria is dire, with various armed groups like the Boko Haram terrorists, kidnappers and bandits wreaking havoc on citizens, particularly in the Northern part of the country. Sadly, The activities of bandits have currently reached an all time high, with incessant kidnappings of students and politically exposed individuals for ransom and the destruction of lives and properties of helpless villagers. It is therefore not out of place for Nigerians to be interested in their tricks and activities.

Recently, a message has gone viral on the social media in Nigeria, claiming bandits now wear cow-hooves padded sandals to deceive soldiers about their movements. The same pictures were shared without various captions by different individuals on social media.

Screenshot of a version of the message (Let’s call this Version A)
Screenshot of another image
Screenshot of Version C

Verification

Dubawa did a reverse image search on Google and got a link to a message posted by ‘Speak out for Animals’, an organisation dedicated to the protection of wildlife and animals in Zimbabwe and Africa at large. The organisation is a group of “animal lawyers committed to combating wildlife crime, using the legal system”.

‘Speak out for Animals’  posted the images on Twitter on July 5, 2021 while a Twitter user, Kevin Piertersen posted a similar message, also on Twitter on July 3, 2021. Both messages indicate that the images were antelope hooves padded sandals wore by poachers to evade rangers, while Mr. Piertersen was particular about the fact that the sandals were worn by poachers caught in Kruger. Kruger is a town in South Africa.

Screenshot of Kevin Pietersen’s Twitter post

Screenshot of the message by ‘Speak out for Animals’

Conclusion

The animal hooves padded sandals shown in the social media messages are not those of cows, but antelopes, and the sandals are worn by poachers, not bandits operating in Nigeria’s Northern region.

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