Late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning, you may have seen the viral video that exploded onto a number of media outlets after being tweeted out by U.S. Olympic luger Kate Hansen. The video purported to show what looked like a wolf roaming the hallway outside of Hansen’s dorm in Sochi, Russia.
Given all the press regarding Sochi’s incredible number of stray dogs, it wasn’t too much of a stretch for most viewers to believe that perhaps the city had a problem with wolves, as well. And a debate even raged as to whether the animal seen in the video was actually a wolf, or perhaps a stray husky. The “Sochi Wolf” video exploded online, and was covered by a number of media outlets.
Well, all of this attention was just what late-night host Jimmy Kimmel was hoping for. It turns out that he devised the video (with the help of Kate Hansen, who turned over control of her Twitter account for purposes of the gag). On last night’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel — joined by “The Girl Who Tweeted Wolf” Hansen via Skype — explained the elaborate setup. Kimmel even said that his art department spent about 15 hours creating a replica of the hallways in Hansen’s Sochi dorm for the shoot.
The wolf itself — named Rugby — also turned up in Kimmel’s studio, with its trainer. The trainer explained that Rugby is actually a timber wolf mix, and she guessed that he is about 80-95% wolf. (Kimmel’s pal Guillermo seemed a little unnerved standing next to Rugby, though he did manage to give the animal a few reluctant pats.)
Got us good, Jimmy!
Here’s the “unedited” full version of Kate Hansen’s wolf video, as posted by Jimmy Kimmel Live:
And here’s Kimmel and Hansen’s explanation last night of how the hoax came about: