Indian wildlife officials are mourning the death of a pregnant wild elephant in Kerala, India, who reportedly died after being fed a firecracker-filled pineapple by an unknown assailant.
“Her jaw was broken and she was unable to eat after she chewed the pineapple and it exploded in her mouth,” says chief wildlife warden Surendra Kumar. The outraged official tells local media he’s certain the tampered-with pineapple was meant to kill the animal, reports the Tribune India.
The ill-intentioned feeding reportedly occurred in a remote valley in Attappadi, a forest in southern India, where the 15-year-old elephant had entered a village to forage for food last month, reports the Quint. The beast died a while later in a Malappuram district river, according to a heartbreaking Facebook post by wildlife official Mohan Krishnan, who wasn’t able to rescue her.
“When we saw her she was standing in the river, with her head dipped in the water,” writes the bereaved ranger. “She had a sixth sense that she was going to die.” An autopsy revealed that the animal was pregnant at the time of her tragic death. In response to the heinous act, the Kerala forest department reiterated the portion of the Indian constitution mandating that citizens be kind to animals. “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,” they tweeted Tuesday.
In a Facebook post, forest official Mohan Krishnan said the firecrackers exploded in the animal’s mouth and the elephant walked for days in pain before dying on 27 May, standing in a river.
He wrote that the animal “didn’t harm a single human being even when she ran in searing pain in the streets of the village”. “When I saw her, she was standing in the river without making any noise. She was possibly getting some relief from immersing her trunk and mouth into the water,” Mr Krishnan told the BBC. A senior local forest official said the elephant stood in water for four days even as wildlife workers and vets tried to save her. “We tried our best to save the lives of both the mother and the child, but we failed,” KK Sunil Kumar told the BBC.
Image courtesy Facebook