Fake News: Large Cat Did NOT Cause Concern At Lake Of The Ozarks

Hoax Alert

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Large Cat Did NOT Cause Concern At Lake Of The Ozarks

Some prankster used joke website React365 to post an article titled "Large Cat Causes Concern at Lake of the Ozarks". The full text of the hoax read:

The Lake of the Ozarks is no stranger to more exotic members of the animal kingdom with the appearance of piranhas and an alligator sighting, but what was seen lurking near the lake shore near Laurie has everyone's head spinning. Lock up your pets and bring your kids in the house, we have a Missouri tiger at our lake and he doesn't play football.
Late Thursday local resident, Tony DerGrate,had brought his family out for an evening boat excursion.
"We were just sitting there in the water when my wife got this shocked look. I followed her line of sight and sitting on the rocks chewing on what appeared to be a rabbit was this massive tiger. I had never seen anything like it but in zoos!" exclaimed DeGrate.
As he was calling the Morgan County Sheriffs Department other reports of startling images from gaming cameras started rolling in. The tiger had been spotted wandering around various lake homes.

None of it is true. The picture was actually taken in Nepal in 2012 or even before that.

ozarkstiger.jpg

React365 is a prank website where users can submit their own headline, description and photo to create realistic looking prank news articles.

react365.jpg

Users don't even need to upload their own image, there is a built-in search function that will pull an appropriate image from Google image search.

The site is part of a larger network of prank sites all using the same basic layout but sometimes in different languages. It appears to be run by a Belgian company named Mediavibes or Media Vibes which is managed by a man named Nicolas Gouriou according to registration records.

So don't fall for this prank now that we've warned you about it!

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder 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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