It’s been a year a pregnant elephant has d.i.e.d after eating a pineapple filled with f.i.r.e.c.r.a.c.k.e.r.s.
An investigation has been launched after the elephant was found standing in water in Kerala’s Silent Valley Forest on 27 May, 2020.
A spokesperson from Kerala Forest Department told Sky News that farmers put f.i.r.e.w.o.r.k.s inside food and plant it on the edges of their fields to keep wild boars away.
The i.n.c.i.d.e.n.t came to light when forest officer Mohan Krishnan, part of the team who attempted to rescue the animal, posted on Facebook.
“She trusted everyone. When the pineapple she ate e.x.p.l.o.d.e.d, she must have been s.h.o.c.k.e.d not thinking about herself, but about the child she was going to give birth to in 18 to 20 months,” Mr Krishnan said.
The elephant’s tongue and mouth were badly i.n.j.u.r.e.d and she was unable to eat due to her i.n.j.u.r.i.e.s.
“She didn’t h.a.r.m a single human being even when she ran in p.a.i.n in the streets of the village. She didn’t crush a single home,” Mr Krishnan added.
The elephant later walked to the Velliyar River and stood there with her head partially underwater.
The forest officer said two captive elephants were brought to lead her out of the river, but she would not move.
She d.i.e.d while still standing in the water.
The animal had wandered at least five or 10 kilometres from the forest in search of food, but it is not known where she ate the pineapple.
Officials took her back into the forest in a truck, where she was cremated.
Mr Sujit said a team from the Kerala Forest Department was investigating, and people were being questioned.
A tweet from the Kerala Forest Department said there is “no conclusive evidence that injury to the lower jaw was caused by pineapple stuffed with cracker” (sic).
“However this may be a possibility,” it said.
The i.n.c.i.d.e.n.t has been condemned by many on social media, and a Change.org petition calling for justice has been signed by 62,914 people.
It has also emerged that another female elephant d.i.e.d in similar circumstances in April in Kollam district.
The Kerala Forest Department spokesperson said: “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.”