Facebook user Jitesh Jadeja posted a set of images with a message claiming that they depict a leopard attack in Polo forest, Gujarat, where a boy was killed. Among the photographs is one which shows a half-eaten carcass with upper body parts intact. “પોળના જંગલમાં ફરતા દિપડા એ અેક છોકરા ને ફાડી ખાધો”, reads the Gujarati text circulating with the images. It is also being shared on WhatsApp.
Old incident from Maharastra
With a reverse image search on Google, we found a 2018 tweet which said that these images were circulating with the rumour that the incident took place in Aarey but it actually took place in Chiplun, Maharastra.
#Mumbai do not believe in the rumours being spread that these images are from #Aarey or #Yeoor after a leopard attack……This happened early this week in Chiplun and not anywhere in Mumbai or #Thane Don’t forward these on WhatsApp @dna pic.twitter.com/axcrcNQXor
— Virat A Singh (@singhvirat246) December 14, 2018
A keyword search on Google revealed that the incident took place near Khadpoli MIDC in Chiplur city of Maharastra where at least two people were severely injured in a leopard attack. It’s an eight-month-old incident. We found a report by Marathi news outlet Sakal on December 11, 2018, which carried two of the photographs that are currently viral. This leopard got stuck in a trap-cage meant for wild boars. People had called forest officials seeing the leopard trapped in the cage but when the officials tried to put a bigger cage over the leopard, the animal managed to escape and went on a rampage.
Jai Maharastra News, a Marathi news channel, had also uploaded a video of the whole incident with the caption, “Leopard attack chiplun”.
In conclusion, photographs of an eight-month-old incident of a leopard attack in Maharastra was shared with the claim that the incident took place in Gujarat’s Polo forest.
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.