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Network ensured Kumamoto zoo's survival during 2016 quake crisis

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The night the Kumamoto quake struck three years ago, veterinarian Atsushi Matsumoto, 46, was working overtime at the Kumamoto City Zoological and Botanical Gardens, when everything around him, himself included, began shaking violently.

First, he checked the safety of the zoo's ferocious animals. All five, including a tiger, a snow leopard and a lion, were safe and sound. But phone calls started pouring in from worried local residents, asking, “Has a lion escaped?”

Matsumoto went online and immediately found a tweet saying, “A lion has gotten loose from a zoo. Kumamoto.” The post, which came with a photo showing a lion walking in a residential area at night, went viral.

Matsumoto tried to stop the vicious rumor from spreading but,........

© The Asahi Shimbun