A story circulating online about elephants that used to live at the Niabi Zoo is, in a word, bogus.
The story from the Rock City Times, a site that spoofs news, says Babe and Sophie were among three elephants that escaped when they “broke through the north side fence of their exhibit” at 1:30 a.m. Saturday, January 18, 2014.
It was just believable enough that it momentarily fooled several people who emailed, called and asked us about it on the WQAD Facebook page.
When you read deeper into the story, you begin to get the joke when the author mentions witnesses reporting seeing the elephants heading toward Memphis on Interstate 40.
“The Memphis Zoo released a statement saying they are aware that the animals may be attempting to seek refuge at a higher quality zoo and will offer amnesty to the refugee elephants,” the story reads.
The story even goes on to implicate the zoo’s penguins in the escape.
The Rock City Times bills itself as “Arkansas’ 2nd most unreliable news source” and a disclaimer on the footer of the site says, “The content on here is presented as fictional news with an intent for humor.”
Babe and Sophie were adjusting well to their new home in Little Rock, where they were greeted by enthusiastic zoo visitors after they joined a third elephant named Zina. Babe and Sophie were moved to the Little Rock Zoo in October 2013.