Lifestyle & Human Interest

Pregnant Elephant Dies After Reportedly Eating Fruit Filled with Fireworks


In the struggle for survival, people have found ways to protect themselves and their livelihoods. For many farmers, that means they wage war daily against the animals that would destroy their fields and eat their crops.

From tiny insects to the greatest lumbering beasts, there are many animals looking to make a meal out of densely planted crops. One way that some farmers in India have found to ward off the larger beasts is by filling fruit and other foods with firecrackers.

Obviously the damage that such a method causes for an animal is catastrophic, and as such, the method has been condemned, according to NDTV. But that hasn’t stopped some people from using it.

In Kerala, India, a pregnant elephant died while standing in a river. While she passed away on May 27, she was initially wounded on or before May 23 and spent days in what must have been excruciating pain.

“The postmortem report says that there was an explosion in the mouth,” Ashique Ali, a local forest officer, said, according to CNN.

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“We don’t know yet what caused the explosion.”

When the elephant was first spotted on May 23 and wildlife authorities tried to approach and tranquilize her, she escaped.

On May 25, she was spotted in a river — but since she was in water, she couldn’t be safely tranquilized.

“In order to give treatment, it has to be immobilized but we could not use a tranquilizer while it is in the water because then the animal can drown,” Ali added.

Two other elephants were brought in to coax her out of the river, but she refused to be persuaded.

Some posited that she stood in the river in an attempt to soothe the pain, others suggested it was to keep flies from getting to her wounds. Either way, the poor creature died two days later after reportedly inhaling water and experiencing respiratory failure, according to the Daily Mail.

“(The explosion) fractured the bones and caused a lot of damage to the mouth,” Surendra Kumar, the chief wildlife warden, said. “The animal could not eat and became weak. And then died.”

While this kind of tragedy is not unheard of, this particular case is bringing a lot of attention to the inhumane practice and the need to crack down on offenders.

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Prakash Javadekar, the Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, said that the government would be seriously investigating the incident.

“Central Government has taken a very serious note of the killing of an elephant in Mallapuram, #Kerala,” he tweeted. “We will not leave any stone unturned to investigate properly and nab the culprit(s). This is not an Indian culture to feed fire crackers and kill.”

By June 5, three suspects had been identified and one, a 40-year-old man, was arrested.

“The arrested man is a rubber tapper,” G Siva Vikram, the Palakkad district police chief, told NDTV. “A search is on for others.”

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