Giant Bird Forgets How To Fly After Years? Viral Claim Is False – Newschecker

A video of a giant bird flapping its wings on the edge of a cliff while being observed by a group of spectators is going viral on social media with users claiming that the bird had been in captivity for so long that it had forgotten how to fly. Newschecker found this claim to be untrue.

The video has been shared on Instagram by a page called the ‘thefactpro’ which has garnered 35,185 likes on the platform. The video of the bird has been shared with the caption ‘Bird Released From Caged Zoo After So Many Years And Forgot How To Fly’.

Newschecker found similar claims on Facebook with similar captions from 2019 showing that the video was viral then too.

Courtesy: Facebook/godprovidesmedia

Facebook links are available here, here and here.

Fact Check/Verification

We started our investigation by conducting a reverse image search on the key-frames of the video and found an article by The Dodo uploaded on their website on 9th July, 2018 titled ‘Giant Condor Stops To ‘Thank’ Rescuers Before Returning To Wild’.

After being poisoned, the bird named Sayani was discovered in a near-death state in December 2012 in Catamarca, Argentina. The article further revealed that Sayani was not the only condor to have come close to passing away from poisoning.

Andean condors may become poisoned after consuming poison off the corpses because local ranchers occasionally poison predators for approaching cattle too closely.

Newschecker also found a longer version of the video uploaded by Canal ANDA on their Youtube channel on 5th September 2018 in which the giant condor seems to stretch its wings before finally taking flight.

Upon conducting a keyword search with the words ‘giant condor’, ‘argentina’, ‘rescued’, ‘flying’ we found a report by La Nacion uploaded on their website on 6th September, 2018 titled ‘A rescued condor thanks those who healed him before regaining his freedom’.

The report states Sayani, a male adult who was discovered in the town of Ambato, was cared for by the Fauna department before being transferred to the Buenos Aires Zoo as part of the Andean Condor Conservation Project, which was successful in reintroducing 139 condors to South America as a whole.

The event occurred in 2014 and had resurfaced on the internet in 2018. It concerns Sayani’s release in Catamarca, Peru, two years after he was discovered to be incapable of flying.

Newschecker also found the original video from 2014 uploaded by a Youtube channel called 

‘Denise vieira pinto’ on their Youtube channel along with the caption which relayed the same information.


Newschecker’s investigation reveals that the video claiming to show a giant bird forgetting how to fly after years in captivity is false. The longer version of the video shows the bird stretching its wings and thanking its rescuers before flying off.

Result: False

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