A week have passed without any arrests since the tragic incident occurred where a pregnant wild elephant in Kerala’s Silent Valley Forest fell victim to brutal act of human cruelty after a pineapple filled with powerful fire crackers offered by some village locals exploded in her mouth when she ate it.
“An FIR has been lodged against unidentified people under relevant sections of Wild Life Protection Act over the incident,” said the Mannarkkad forest range officer, according to news agency ANI.
“Her jaw was broken and she was unable to eat after she chewed the pineapple and it exploded in her mouth. It is certain that she was offered the pineapple filled with crackers to eliminate her,” said Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden Surendrakumar was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.
Surendrakumar said that the elephant died at Velliyar River in Malappuram district on May 27 and the post-mortem revealed that the pachyderm was pregnant.
“I have directed the forest officials to nab the culprit. We will punish him for ‘hunting’ the elephant,” he had said.
The issue of the pregnant elephant’s tragic death came to light after Mohan Krishnan, a forest officer, posted an emotional note on social media narrating the ordeals of the elephant till it died in the waters of the Velliyar River.
The wild animal came out of the forests of the Silent Valley in Attappadi to the village area in search of food, where somebody fed her the pineapple embedded with cracker which is generally used by local farmers to protest their crops against wild boars.
“She trusted everyone. When the pineapple she ate exploded, she must have been shocked to not think about herself, but about the child she was going to give birth to in 18 to 20 months,” posted forest officer Krishnan on Facebook (in Malayalam).
The elephant then left the village and went to Velliyar River and she dipped her mouth and trunk in the water to get some relief from the pain she must have felt from the explosion, said the forest officer on May 30 in his post.
“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. She took the Jalasamadhi in the river in a standing position”, Krishnan, who was deputed to bring the elephant back to the shore, wrote.
Two captive elephants, Surendran and Neelakanthan, were brought to bring her out of water but after a number of attempts, she died at 4 pm on 27 May. The elephant was cremated inside the forest.
“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. This is why I said, she is full of goodness,” wrote the forest officer on social media.
“She needs to be given the farewell she deserves. For that, we took her inside the forest in a lorry. She lay there on firewood, in the land she played and grew up. The doctor who did her post-mortem told me that she was not alone. I could sense his sadness though the expression on his face was not visible due to his mask. We cremated her in a pyre there. We bowed before her and paid our last respects,” the forest officer had said.