Pregnant elephant fed firecrackers in fruit, dies; Maneka Gandhi fumes
The death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala has made the entire nation angry, because of the sheer brutality which humans meted on her. Fed a pineapple filled with crackers, the poor animal passed away last week, after walking in pain for days. BJP leader and animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi slammed the Kerala government for not taking animal cruelty seriously.
The elephant, originally belonging to Silent Valley National Park (SVNP), Palakkad, breathed her last standing at the Velliyar river in Mallapurram on May 27. She had ventured out in search of food. According to NIE, the 15-year-old mammal stood in the water to get some relief after the fruit had exploded inside her mouth. Her jaw broke as she chewed the fruit, said reports.
The elephant's ordeal would have gone unnoticed had forest officer Mohan Krishnan, who was involved in the rescue operation, not written its details on Facebook. Officials believe she must have eaten the fruit, either at the end of April, or the beginning of May. In searing pain and hunger, she moved around the village, but couldn't eat anything after the incident.
"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," Krishnan wrote in the now-viral post.
In the emotional post, Krishnan wrote that the elephant trusted everyone. When the fruit exploded, she must have been thinking about her child who was due in 18-20 months, he added. When forest officials brought two elephants, Surendran and Neelakanthan, to lead her out of the water, she didn't move. "I think she had a sixth sense. She didn't let us do anything," he wrote.
In fact, Dr. David Abraham, Assistant Forest Veterinary Officer, Thrissur, who conducted the autopsy said he realized she was pregnant later. "I have so far done more than 250 post-mortems of elephants alone in my more than two decades career. But this was the first time I was so moved as I could hold the fetus of the baby in my hands," he said.
Unfortunately, such incidents aren't uncommon in the area. In April, another wild elephant died similarly in Pathanapuram in Kollam district. An FIR has been filed and an investigation launched against unknown persons. Reacting on the incident, Maneka Gandhi wrote on Twitter that Mallapuram is "known for its intense animal activity" and yet authorities take no action.
Mallapuram is know for its intense criminal activity specially with regards to animals. No action has ever been taken against a single poacher or wildlife killer so they keep doing it.— Maneka Sanjay Gandhi (@Manekagandhibjp) June 3, 2020
I can only suggest that you call/email and ask for action pic.twitter.com/ii09qmb7xW
Among those who fumed at the incident were Bollywood actors Anushka Sharma, Shraddha Kapoor, and Athiya Shetty. Sharing the news item, Sharma wrote that this is exactly why harsher laws against animal cruelty are needed. "How?????? How can something like this happen??? Do people not have hearts??? My heart has shattered and broken... (sic)," wrote Kapoor. Shetty called the act absolutely barbaric.