Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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HomeFact CheckNewsMedia Outlets Misreport Video Of Men Dancing In Elephant Costume As Real

Media Outlets Misreport Video Of Men Dancing In Elephant Costume As Real

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.

Pankaj Menon

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.

Courtesy: X post/@WokePandemic
Courtesy: X post/@WokePandemic

The archived version of the tweets can be seen here, and here.

News channels ABP News and Zee News MP-Chhattisgarh, were among the media outlets that had misreported the video claiming it to be a real elephant dancing.

The archived version of the news can be seen, here, and here.

Also Read: Protest At Madhya Pradesh Police Station Given False ‘Cow Smuggling’ Angle

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.

Malaya seen written in Malayalam in the viral video
Malaya seen written in Malayalam in the viral video

We also saw an arch behind the ‘dancing elephant’ with the word ‘Elevenz’ painted on it.

Elevenz written in the board seen in the viral video
Elevenz written in the board seen in the viral video

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.

Elevenz Kadavallur's instagram post
Elevenz Kadavallur’s instagram post

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.

Anil Arts's Instagram post
Anil Arts’s Instagram post

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.

Conclusion

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.

Also Read: Deepfake Ad Of Akshay Kumar Promoting Mobile Game App Goes Viral

Sources
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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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.

Pankaj Menon

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