Does This Image Show Preparation to Build a Road Through Nairobi National Park?

On June 23, a renowned Kenyan journalist shared a photo on Twitter (see above and below) with claims that it shows part of the Nairobi National Park being dug up to pave way for an express road with an emotive caption.

The photo shows 4 lions perched on the mounds of dirt next to an excavator and the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) in the background.

Wildlife conservationist and Chief Executive Officer of WildlifeDirect, Dr Paula Kahumbu, also shared the photo with her over 177,000 followers on Twitter, adding a telling tag: #SaveNairobiPark.

Other Twitter users picked up on the same, re-sharing and amplifying the message far and wide. Even blogs picked it up.

Background

The fight for the Nairobi National Park is not a new one. In March 2018, Kenyan conservationists expressed outrage after the construction of a railway line inside the park began.

In March 2020, they were up in arms yet again after plans to build an access road through the park to link the Nairobi Inland Container Depot (ICD) to the Southern Bypass were announced. Despite the opposition, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), approved the project.

Verification

At the bottom, the viral photo is watermarked with the name Vishal Shikotra as can be seen below:

A search for his name leads us to the Instagram account where he actually shared the photo in question on June 24, clarifying the context in which he took it.

The Kenya Wildlife Service also refuted the claims in a press release dated June 24.

Verdict

The image in question was used out of context making then claim, FALSE.

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