Widely shared images of “chikibilla” in Sri Lanka found to be fake

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –Widely shared images of the “chikibilla” in Sri Lanka have been found to be fake, AFP reported.

According to AFP, a national park in Sri Lanka said it had recorded no sightings of a “chikibilla”, contradicting social media posts that said the dinosaur-like creature had re-emerged there after it was thought to be extinct.

Wildlife experts also told AFP that no such creature exists. The images appeared to have been digitally manipulated.

“The ‘Chikibilla’, which was thought to be extinct, has been found after 103 years in Yala National Park,” read the Sinhala-language caption to three images shared on Facebook on March 24, 2024.

Yala National Park, a vast park and nature reserve in Sri Lanka’s southeast, is home to a wide variety of mammals and bird species (archived link).

The pictures appear to show four-legged creatures in a dark wooded area.

“No such thing has been reported from Yala National Park,” a spokesperson for the park told AFP.

Wildlife experts also told AFP there was no truth to the claims.

Kanishka Ukuwela, a senior lecturer in zoology at Sri Lanka’s Rajarata University told AFP, “There is no animal called ‘Chikibilla’ in Sri Lanka. I doubt there is such an animal in the world either” (archived link).

Ruchira Somaweera, principal environmental scientist at community design company Stantec, also dismissed the claims.

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