Fact Check: Leopard Was Spotted at Hetero Pharma Facility in Telangana, NOT on Sabarimala Temple Premises

A video showing a leopard roaming inside a place is widely shared on social media claiming that the wild animal was spotted entering the Sabarimala Aravana Payasam (main prasad of the temple) preparation area. 

The video is shared on Facebook with a caption: “சபரிமலை சன்னிதானத்தில் உள்ள அரவண பாயசம் தயாரிக்கும் இடத்தில் சிறுத்தை. அரவண பாயசம் தயாரிப்பது பற்றி பல புகார்கள் வந்தன. ஒரு வேளை ஸ்வாமி ஐயப்பன் விசாரணைக்கு அனுப்பினாரோ” (English translation: Leopard at the place where Aravana Payasam is prepared at Sabarimala Sannidhanam. Many complaints were received about the preparation of Aravana Payasam. Maybe Swami Ayyappan sent for enquiry?)

Here’s the link to the above post


NewsMobile fact-checked the above claim, and found it to be MISLEADING. 

Performing a Reverse Image Search, we found a news report by The News Minute, dated December 17, 2022, that carried a screenshot from the viral video. According to the article, “A leopard that strayed into the Hetero Pharmaceuticals Limited facility in Sangareddy district’s Gadda Potharam industrial area was captured by zoo officials. The leopard was reported to have entered the plant at night on December 16, and was spotted by security staff who immediately alerted the police and forest officials.” 

The extended version of the viral video was also uploaded on a YouTube page, dated December 18, 2022, with the caption: “Zoo officials capture leopard that strayed into Hetero Pharma facility in Sangareddy.”

The viral video was also featured in a news report by TV9 Telugu Live with the caption: “TV9 Ground report || Leopard enters Hetero’s drug manufacturing lab”. 

Factually, the video does not show a leopard entering the Aravana Payasam manufacturing area in Sabarimala, Kerala. The incident took place inside a pharmaceutical company called Hetero Pharma in Telangana. So, the viral claim is misleading. 

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