As the story of the death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala became a National headline, many mainstream media and politicians are spreading misinformation and fake news about the incident.
Claim 1: The Elephant was fed with pineapple filled with country made bombs.
Yesterday, it was reported that the pregnant elephant was killed after locals allegedly fed her a pineapple stuffed with crackers.
Investigation in early-stage and inconclusive but it was not ‘fed’ says forest officials.
The forest department is at present actively probing the incident. Speaking to International Business Times, India reporter the local DFO office said that pineapples filled with firecrackers are used as a snare for catching wild boars.
He said, “No one would have fed the pineapple to the elephant. The animal must have found it lying somewhere and must have consumed it herself not knowing what lies ahead for her.”
The officials told this publication, “every farming community near forest range uses such techniques as crackers, board bombs and bear traps to get rid of the wildlings attacking their crops. [sic.]” The official further confirmed that the fruit was not “deliberately fed” to the animal.
Claim 2: Incident took place in Malappuram
Central Minister Maneka Gandhi and Prakash Javdekar tried to gain cheap political mileage from the incident. Although the incident took place in Palakkad District, the union ministers deliberately dragged Malappuram District into the incident.
Maneka said that Malappuram is notorious for its criminal activities. she made the comments in her official Twitter handle and in an interview with Ani.
“Malappuram is known for its intense criminal activities specially with regards to animals. No action has ever been taken against a single poacher or wildlife killer, so they keep doing it. I can only suggest that you call/mail and ask for action”, she took to Twitter to respond to the reports of the elephant’s death.
Minister Prakash Javedkar also tweeted that the Incident took place in Malappuram.
Many other right-wingers and BJP leaders including Shoba Karandlaje, Tarek Fatah, and others are trying to communalise the incident by claiming the incident occurred in Malappuram, a Muslim majority district.
The incident took place in Pallakad Not Malappuram.
The Kerala forest department has confirmed in a tweet that the Incident took place in Palakkad and not Malappuram.
Note: The article is not to play down or justify the brutal act. It is only aimed at pointing out the unfortunate practice of using snares to keep wild animals at bay and to debunk the Islamophobic and false information being spread in social media.