Fake News: First 90 Kangaroos Have NOT Been Released in Wyoming

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: First 90 Kangaroos Have NOT Been Released in Wyoming

Was a batch of 5 antilopine kangaroos released in the Wyoming outdoors by the Wyoming Wild Game Department so they could later be used for hunting? A story that said as much went viral again on April 1, 2018 but it was just a copy pasted version of an April Fools' Day hoax that ran last year so it still wasn't true this year.

The copy of the false story reappeared on April 1, 2018 on Tetribe.net and was titled "First 90 Kangaroos Have Been Released in Wyoming" (archived here). The copied article opened:

(Dubois, Wyo) - The Wyoming Wild Game Department (WWGD) partnering with the Wyoming Migration Initiative (WMI) have released the first of 5 planned batches of 90 Antilopine Kangaroos into the Wyoming outdoors.

Dubbed "Project Sage Hopper" by the WWGD team responsible for evaluating the viability of Wyoming's habitat for Australian marsupials, it has been in the planning stages for 3 years. The goal is two-fold: Create new and interesting wildlife viewing opportunities for tourists, and in several years, potentially provide additional hunting opportunities.

"Antilopine means 'antelope-like, so we are interested to see how these kangaroos adapt to Wyoming's wild landscapes," WMI Director Matt Kauffman said. "If they start migrating, we'll be tracking their movements, looking to see how they learn to exploit the sage steppe and the mountains, where they 'hopover,' those sorts of things."

The story was an exact copy of this County10 story from last year:

First 90 Kangaroos released in Wyoming

(Dubois, Wyo) - The Wyoming Wild Game Department (WWGD) partnering with the Wyoming Migration Initiative (WMI) have released the first of 5 planned batches of 90 Antilopine Kangaroos into the Wyoming outdoors. Dubbed "Project Sage Hopper" by the WWGD team responsible for ...

That story was later updated with a big link that simply read

APRIL FOOLS!

and which directed visitors to a page with reactions about the prank.

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

The website tetribe.net seems to be part of a wider trend of fake Native American themed websites that publish rehashed content from variouis other websites, including articles about actual Native American issues but also fake news and health scares. Mediamatters discovered several such sites are being operated in places like Kosovo.

Lead Stories noticed thetribe.net seems to be using the Google Adsense ID "ca-pub-6312226304022123" which we also found on the now defunct website theearthtribe.net. That site had the exact same image as a logo, as you can see in this archived screengrab from an old story that ran there:

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And according to WHOIS registration data this site was set up by someone in Australia:

DOMAIN INFORMATION
Domain:theearthtribe.net
Registrar:Crazy Domains FZ-LLC
Registration Date:2017-06-14
Expiration Date:2019-06-14
Updated Date:2017-08-28
Status:ok
Name Servers:ara.ns.cloudflare.com
logan.ns.cloudflare.com
REGISTRANT CONTACT
Name:LUKE O'HEHIR
Street:1 / 37 ARGYLE AVE CHELSEA
City:VIC
State:VIC
Postal Code:3196
Country:AU

Luke seems to be running several other similar websites, we'll be following them with great interest...

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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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