Amid massive outrage over the death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala, who was allegedly fed a pineapple stuffed with crackers to it, Mannarkkad Divisional Forest Officer Sunil Kumar has said that it was a coconut stuffed with crackers that she had eaten, a day after the state government had made the first arrest in the case.
NDTV has reported that Mannarkkad Divisional Forest Officer Sunil Kumar told them that the elephant consumed a coconut laden with crackers.
The arrested man had been identified as P Wilson, an employee of an estate that cultivates cash crops and spices, media reports said.
He was taken by the officials to the place where he used to help in making the crackers with some others to protect the crops from being destroyed by animals like wild boars.
“As part of the probe and evidence collection, the arrested person was taken to the plantation shed where he would help two others in making the crackers,” said Forest officer Aashique Ali U.
According to officials they will catch the other two accused soon who are on the run.
The locals lay such traps to save their crops from wild animals like wild boars tat come to destroy the crops frequently, by putting explosives made by them in fruits or animal fat as a set-up to trap them by scaring them with such crackers.
The incident is of Palakkad when a pregnant elephant had entered into a village in search of food on May 27. It was earlier alleged that the villagers fed a pineapple stuffed with crackers to it, which the officials said was in fact a coconut. As the crackers exploded, the elephant suffered serious injuries on its tongue and mouth.
Later she walked into a river and waited for three days as its life was slowly snuffed out.
The investigation which is still underway is being jointly carried out by the police and the forest department.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had tweeted on the incident on Thursday and said, “We want to assure you that your concerns will not go in vain. Justice will prevail.”
“Having said that, we are saddened by the fact some have used this tragedy to unleash a hate campaign. Lies built upon inaccurate descriptions and half truths were employed to obliterate the truth. Some even tried to import bigotry into the narrative. Wrong priorities,” Vijayan tweeted.