(TMU) – In southern India, a pregnant elephant died a slow and painful death after eating a firecracker-filled pineapple when she wandered into a village near the Kerala’s Silent Valley Forest looking for food.
According to a spokesperson for the Kerala Forest Department, farmers use fruit stuffed with firecrackers at the edge of their fields in efforts to save their crops from wild boars, and the elephant found and ate the pineapple filled with the explosives, suffering deadly injuries as a result.
The pineapple exploded in her mouth as she bit down on it, injuring her tongue and mouth, and breaking both her upper and lower jaw, leaving her in unimaginable pain, and unable to eat or drink.
Wildlife official Mohan Krishnan, in a touching post on social media, said that the mum-to-be was later found dying in a nearby river.
Article 51-A (g) of the Indian Constitution says that it shall be duty of every citizen of India to have compassion for living creatures. The pregnant elephant in pic was killed in human- wildlife conflict.Action has already been initiated. But where lies our duty? N humanity?? pic.twitter.com/V1ufNt3HfN
— Kerala Forest Department (@ForestKerala) June 3, 2020
He wrote: “She trusted everyone. 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.
“She didn’t harm a single human being even when she ran in searing pain in the streets of the village. She didn’t crush a single home.
“When we saw her she was standing in the river, with her head dipped in the water. She had a sixth sense that she was going to die.”
To try and get the injured elephant out of the water and safely to treatment, two captive elephants were brought in, but she didn’t budge. She stayed in the water, where she eventually died. An autopsy revealed that she was about two months pregnant. Her body was transported back into the forest where was cremated.
A Kerala Forest Department spokesperson told Sky News: “It seems this elephant was very unfortunate and unlucky. In my 20 years of service I have heard of three such cases in the past with elephants. It is very sad and we are all very sad about it.”
The official Kerala Forest Department Twitter page wrote: “Article 51-A (g) of the Indian Constitution says that it shall be duty of every citizen of India to have compassion for living creatures.’’
“The pregnant elephant… was killed in human-wildlife conflict. Action has already been initiated. But where lies our duty?”
It is unlikely that this was a deliberate attack on the elephant, although a team from the Kerala Forest Department is investigating and questioning people involved about the incident and a Change.org petition, calling for justice for the elephant, has already reached over 1 million signatures.
Millions of people across the world have been shocked and saddened by the horrific death of the elephant and her unborn baby, with many creating and sharing their art as a tribute to an innocent mother and child. Gentle giants that will never roam the forest again.