Claim: A video which appears to show an elephant dancing amidst a crowd.
Fact: The ‘dancing elephant’ is actually two people dressed up in an elephant costume and not a real elephant.
Several social media users are sharing a one minute 03 seconds long video, purportedly showing an elephant dancing, with the caption, “Only Hindu elephants can dance like this.” The fact however is that the ‘elephant’ is actually two men dressed in an elephant costume and not a real pachyderm.
Fact Check/ Verification
We began by examining the video, where we noticed the name board of a shop in Malayalam, that said ‘Malaya’. Thus we concluded that the video is from Kerala.
We also saw an arch behind the ‘dancing elephant’ with the word ‘Elevenz’ painted on it.
Taking this as a clue, we did a keyword search for ‘Elevenz’ on various social media platforms which led us to the original video posted on Instagram page ‘Elevenz Kadavallur‘ on January 23, 2024.
We reached out to the admin of the page, which belonged to an arts club named ‘Elevenz Kadavallur’, who confirmed that it was not an actual elephant in the video. “It was a team led by an artist named Anil Arts performing during a temple festival at Kadavallur,” the admin said.
He also forwarded us a link of a promo of a television programme, shared by Anil Arts on his Instagram page on February 2, 2023, showing an elephant dancing on the stage.
We further contacted Anil Arts, the artists who organised the performance, who confirmed that the dance was performed by a team under his supervision.
“There are two people who have donned an elephant costume to perform this dance. This act is performed by my son and his friends and we have already showcased this in over 17 TV programmes and in various other programmes across the state. This video is from a performance that we did at a temple festival near Kunnamkulam in Thrissur. We have won the first prize during the Onam Pageantry in Thiruvananthapuram continuously for the last three years for this performance,” he added.
Thus, we find that the video of two dancers performing in an elephant costume is being shared with the claim that it shows a real elephant dancing happily.
Instagram post by Elevenz Kadavallur on January 23, 2024
Instagram post by Anil Arts on February 2, 2023
Instagram Message with Anas, admin of Elevenz Kadavallur
Telephone Conversation with Anil Arts
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