A picture of a man has been taking rounds on social media platform after the death of a pregnant Elephant in Kerala. The elephant died on May 27 after she ate a pineapple filled with firecrackers. The elephant originally belonged to Silent Valley National Park (SVNP), Palakkad. She stayed calm even though she was under excruciating pain. She faced one of the most brutal forms of animal abuse as the fruit exploded in her mouth, leading to her and her unborn child’s death.
A public discourse ensued all over social media over the cruelty that the pregnant elephant had to face. Very soon a graphic started circulating on social media platforms which apparently shows the culprit behind the horrific incident.
“In Kerala, he killed a pregnant elephant with a pineapple, and should be severely punished for killing the animal,” reads the caption of one of the viral post.
The claim made by these viral posts are misleading. A reverse image search led to a report by Indian Express published in 2018. In this report there was an image of the man, same as the one in these viral posts.
According to the report carried out by Indian Express, Madhu (The man in the viral post) was a 27-year-old tribal youth of Kaduka Manna region in Attappady. He was caught by a group of people who tied him up for several hours. He was also beaten with sticks. He allegedly used to steal rice and other food items from shops in that area. He was later handed over to the local police. However, he died on his way to the hospital the same day.
According to an official at the Agali police station, he appeared to be mentally unsound.
A series of reports from 2018 were found when we did a keyword search of the above given information confirming that this man in the picture is in no way connected to the murder of the elephant.
Reportedly, a man by the name of P Wilson, has been arrested and another detained against the charges of killing the elephant, by a joint committee of the Police and the Forest Officials for investigation, minister K Raju said on June 5. Wilson works at an estate that cultivates cash crops and spices.
According to the interrogators, these two men had set up a snare of fruit filled with crackers to scare wild boars, who often destroyed their farms.
Further, in a report by The News Minute, Thiruvazhamkunnu Forest Station, Deputy Range Officer, M Sasikumar confirmed the arrest of Wilson. Sasikumar added that Wilson works as a rubber tapper in a plantation in the district. He also added that three people were taken into custody for interrogation on June 4, out of which two were allowed to leave after the questioning was over.