Viral image of injured elephant is from Thailand, not India

An image of an injured elephant with a misleading claim is being widely shared on social media.

By Sunanda Naik  Published on  8 Sep 2022 9:05 AM GMT
Viral image of injured elephant is from Thailand, not India

An image of an injured elephant with a misleading claim is being widely shared on social media.

In the image, we can see a severely injured elephant hardly standing on his feet. The elephant is looking brutally tortured and exhausted.

The post has been shared with the caption, "Today is Ganesh Puja. Share this post as much as you can #Assamese_elephant_captive_in_Tamil_Nadu_templeJaymala. The elephant was leased from Assam to Tamil Nadu in 2008 for just six months. The elephant — illegally captured for the past 13 years — was brutally beaten by several mouths on temple premises. But the Assam Forest Department is indifferent despite knowing everything."


FACT CHECK

NewsMeter performed a reverse image search and found an article published by National Geographic, dated 20th June 2019.

The title of the article reads, 'This elephant's plight sparked outrage. Here's an update.'

In the article, we found the elephant is from Thailand.

"National Geographic's account of GluayHom, an injured young elephant in Thailand, triggered calls for rescue. Here's how he's doing now," it reads.

Taking the location as a prominent clue, we ran a keyword search and found the same image being published by Euro news dated 2nd February 2021.

The title of the article reads, "Selfies in the jungle: Abuse, exploitation and the dark side of wildlife tourism".

In the article, photographer Kristen Luce and writer Natasha Daly spent months documenting the exploitation of animals in Amazon, Thailand, and Russia.

"One of the exhibited images shows GluayHom, a five-year-old elephant who was found beneath a stadium at an entertainment facility near Bangkok. His leg was broken and there were open sores on his face. Six months after this image was taken the team's fixer found GluayHom at the same spot in the same condition", says Luce, the photographer.

Hence, it is evident that the viral image is from Thailand and not from Tamil Nadu.

The claim is misleading.

Claim Review:Image of Elephant from Thailand shared as from India
Claimed By:Social Media user
Claim Reviewed By:NewsMeter
Claim Source:Social Media
Claim Fact Check:False
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