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HomeFact CheckNeither Arikomban, Nor Kerala: Viral Video Of Elephant Breaking FCI Godown’s Shutter...

Neither Arikomban, Nor Kerala: Viral Video Of Elephant Breaking FCI Godown’s Shutter Is From West Bengal

Authors

Sabloo Thomas has worked as a special correspondent with the Deccan Chronicle from 2011 to December 2019. Post-Deccan Chronicle, he freelanced for various websites and worked in the capacity of a translator as well (English to Malayalam and Malayalam to English). He’s also worked with the New Indian Express as a reporter, senior reporter, and principal correspondent. He joined Express in 2001.

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

Claim
Elephant in Gundlupet forest on Kerala-Karnataka border breaks into a godown and eats foodgrains. Some users identified the animal as Arikomban from Kerala.

Fact
Video shows elephant Ramlal breaking into an FCI godown in West Bengal’s West Medinipur.

A video showing an elephant breaking the shutter of a storage facility, pulling a gunny sack out and eating what appears to be rice, has been shared widely on social media platforms. Multiple users sharing the video claim that it features Arikomban, a popular, rice-loving elephant from Kerala. Newschecker found the claim to be untrue.

In a report dated April 2, 2024, Indian Express featured an X post carrying the viral video, and stated “A hungry wild elephant residing in the Gundlupet forest on Kerala-Karnataka borders has created a ruckus after it strayed into human habitat and raided a foodgrain godown…”

Multiple social media users also claimed that the video shows the famous Arikomban elephant from Kerala.

Such posts can be seen here, here and here.

Also Read: Newspaper Clipping Claiming Arvind Kejriwal Was Accused Of Rape In 1987 Found To Be Fake

Fact Check/Verification

On carefully analysing the video, we noticed that the language heard in the clip is neither Tamil nor Malayalam. Additionally, the elephant seen in the clip does not have a radio collar like Arikomban, raising our suspicion.

A reverse image search on the keyframes of the video led us to a report by Ananda Bazar Patrika, dated March 29, 2024. Displaying a screengrab from the video, the report stated, “Ramlal is well-known in the Jangalmahal area—sometimes in a backyard, sometimes drinking water from a bucket in front of a drinking tap or stopping a truck on the national highway to eat rice. He really is a toothy guy. Ramlal usually roams freely in the forest of Jhargram. “

Elephant Breaking FCI
Screengrab from Ananda Bazar website translated from Bengali via Google

Adding, “On Friday morning, the same Ramlal was spotted at Lasibhanga in the Chandra Range of West Medinipur. Ramlal entered the Food Corporation (FCI) godown and ate the stored rice and went back to the forest.”

We also found a report by News 18 Bangla, dated March 29, 2024, titled “Elephant Attack: What Rules Again! ‘Don’ Ramlal breaks the shutter.” It featured the viral video and  stated, “Ramlal broke the shutter of FCI’s godown and took out 1 sack of rice. Hundreds of enthusiastic people enjoyed the scene.”

Screengrab from News 18 Bangla website

The report stated that the video was from FCI godown at Pirakata in Salboni village of West Medinipur, West Bengal.

We looked up Pirakata FCI godown on Google Maps, and were able to spot the location where the video was shot.

Also Read: Video Showing DMK Leader Distributing Gifts As Part of New Year Celebrations Falsely Linked To Polls

Conclusion

Hence, we could conclude that the viral video of an elephant breaking the shutter of an FCI godown is from West Bengal.

Result: False

Sources
Report By News 18 Bangla, Dated March 29, 2024
Report By Ananda Bazar Patrika, Dated March 29, 2024
Google Maps


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Authors

Sabloo Thomas has worked as a special correspondent with the Deccan Chronicle from 2011 to December 2019. Post-Deccan Chronicle, he freelanced for various websites and worked in the capacity of a translator as well (English to Malayalam and Malayalam to English). He’s also worked with the New Indian Express as a reporter, senior reporter, and principal correspondent. He joined Express in 2001.

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon is a fact-checker based out of Delhi who enjoys ‘digital sleuthing’ and calling out misinformation. He has completed his MA in International Relations from Madras University and has worked with organisations like NDTV, Times Now and Deccan Chronicle online in the past.

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