The tragic death of a pregnant elephant after eating a pineapple stuffed with firecrackers in a village in the Indian state of Kerala has triggered massive outrage there.
According to NDTV, the incident took place several weeks back but came to the fore recently when a forest official described the gruesome incident through a Facebook post.
The forest officials presumed that the wild elephant came to the locality from the forests of Silent Valley in Palakkad district at the end of April or the beginning of May, in search of food.
While wandering into the villages for food, she ate a pineapple stuffed with crackers, allegedly placed by some locals.
The fruit filled with crackers went off inside her mouth and left her critically injured. With blistering pain, she walked around the village for days and finally embraced a tragic death standing in the Attappadi river with her mouth dipped in water.
Ashique Ali, a forest officer, told NDTV that they don’t know the actual time when the incident happened. But because of the starvation and shrinking of the elephant, they suspect that it would have happened around 20 days ago.
They came to know about the incident on May 25, two days before the elephant died. Then, they tried to drive the elephant out of the water in many ways.
But she chose to stand in the river with her mouth dipped into water, perhaps for some relief from the pain.
Finally, she died at 4 pm on May 27.
During autopsy, health officials found a baby elephant dead inside her belly. A picture of the premature baby elephant went viral on social media.
Mohan Krishnan, a forest officer who was part of the Rapid Response Team to rescue the elephant, said the elephant didn't harm a single human being even when she ran in searing pain in the streets of the village.
She refrained from vandalising homes. “This is why I said, she is full of goodness. When the pineapple she ate exploded, she must have been shocked not thinking about herself, but about the child she was going to give birth to in 18 to 20 months," he added.
Police have filed a First Information Report accusing unknown persons and began looking into the incident.
Meanwhile, the incident was circulated widely on social media and drew huge criticism across the world.
Pinarayi Vijayan, chief minister of Kerala, promised of strict action against those who are responsible to the incident.
“The Forest Department is probing the case and the culprits will be brought to book,” he said.