Did A Muslim Man In Kerala Feed Meat To An Elephant? A FactCheck

BOOM found that the father and child in the viral video were giving a coconut to the elephant before it charged at them.

A viral video from Kerala of a man and a young boy offering a cocounut to an elephant after which it charges at them is being shared with the false and communal claim that a Muslim man and his son were trying to feed meat to the animal which angered it and led to the incident.

BOOM spoke to Nabeel Kunhappu, the man seen in the viral video along with his young son, and he denied the claim stating that his son was trying to feed the elephant a coconut before it charged towards them. In the viral video too, we can see an oblong object in the hand of the child, that he later feeds the mammal.

The viral video shows a toddler holding a man's hand and walking toward an elephant and then tries to feed it after which it charges towards them, however the duo escape unharmed.

The video is being shared with the caption reads, "These Mu$lim people tried feeding meat to the Elephant which is a vegetarian animal...see what it does!!"


Click here to view

The same video is being widely shared on Facebook with the false and communal claim.


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FACT-CHECK

BOOM found that the father and son in the viral video did not feed the elephant meat as being claimed and found that they were infact offering it a coconut.

Taking a hint from the video, we ran a relevant keyword search and running a reverse image search we found Malayalam news reports on the incident identifying the man as Nabeel Kunhappu with his son stating that he had first offered a coconut to the elephant, and later his son also insisted on offering food to the animal, after which it attacked them. It further states that the video is old and has recently gone viral.

Additionally, when we look at the video, we can clearly see the child holding an oblong object that looks like a coconut while going to feed the mammal.


Nabeel Kunhappu posted a video on his Facebook account on April 8, 2022, in which he speaks about the incident in Malayalam stating that he had fed the elephant coconuts, after which his son too demanded to do the same, and when they went the second time the mammal attacked them. Kunhappu further added his son sustained minor injuries but they were not grave enough to be treated at a hospital.

BOOM reached out to Kunhappu who denied the communal claim that they were trying to feed the elepahant meat. Kunhappu told us that incident is from Kizhparambu Pazhaparambu in Malapuram district on October 23, 2021, when he and his son were trying to feed the elephant coconuts.

Kunhappu who is currently working in Saudi Arabia shot a video and sent it to BOOM. In the video, he says, "...I am the father in that video. Now that video is propagating online with a false claim saying I tried to give the elephant beef and tried to convert it to Islam. Its sounds so funny but only we know the truth..."

He further adds, "The incident happened on October 23, 2021, when my mother-in-law and brother-in-law came to see the construction of my house. On that day my son said let us go to see the elephant, so when it was 2 pm and the construction workers left, I decided to take him to see the elephant and we all went there."

"When I went to give coconut to the elephant my son insisted on accompanying me but I asked him to stay back. I asked him to let me go first and also warned him that we might have to run if something happens. So you can clearly hear this in the first video," states Kunhappu.

Kunhappu also sent us a video shot just prior to the incident where we can see him going alone and feeding a coconut to the elephant. The video can be seen below:

"So I fed the first coconut and the elephant seemed really calm, but when my son and I went to give the second coconut the elephant grabbed my son instead of the coconut. The elephant then threw my son to the ground and and grabbed my leg too. But luck was on our side and we both were safe after the incident. Soon the people with me screamed, people rushed out from their homes and learnt of the incident. After six months of this incident, now its gone viral and now I am in Saudi Arabia," adds Kunhappu.

One can view Kunhappu's video below which he sent BOOM, explaining the incident in Malayalam.

(Additional reporting by Sujith A)


Claim :   Video shows a Muslim man and child feeding a elephant meat in Kerala
Claimed By :  Social Media
Fact Check :  False
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