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Topeka Zoo responds to fake news their porcupine has been kidnapped

A fake post circulated online, purporting that the Topeka Zoo's porcupine had been kidnapped
A fake post circulated online, purporting that the Topeka Zoo's porcupine had been kidnapped(Topeka Zoo / Facebook)
Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 10:46 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Topeka Zoo has been forced to respond to fake news that their beloved porcupine, Spike, has been abducted from behind zoo walls. They are assuring the public that their porcupine is indeed safe. A realistic Facebook post purporting to be from The Topeka Zoo’s verified account was circulating online Monday. People began sharing the post that read: “Tonight at approximately 07:15 hours, someone walked out of our Zoo Lights exhibition with our porcupine. We are asking that she be returned safely by 12PM CT tomorrow (12/23/20). No questions asked and no charges filed. Please, do the right thing.” An image of a porcupine is included with the post.

Because it was being widely shared, the Zoo responded with a legitimate post from their official account: “You may have seen a manipulated image making its way around but we can confirm our porcupine is safe in his home. A prankster made the post below and it has received quite a lot [of] attention very quickly. We are truly humbled that so many of you cared to help get the word out so quickly when you thought one of the animals here was in danger but you can all rest, assured that this was a false claim.”

You may have seen a manipulated image making its way around but we can confirm our porcupine is safe in his home. A...

Posted by Topeka Zoo on Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Facebook fans couldn’t help but needle the Zoo, with Bryan Beall writing: “So this porcupine I just bought really wasn’t yours???” Others like Katie Van Single were confident that Spike can take care of herself: “I’d like to see someone try and steal Spike... they’re gonna have the worst time of their life”.

WIBW’s Rick Felsburg filmed video of Spike’s feeding time back in 2018; watch it HERE. Or, view this video from Spike’s 15th birthday that same year, HERE.

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