Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday promised “strict action” against those responsible for the death of a pregnant elephant in Palakkad district after eating a pineapple stuffed with fireworks, ANI reported.
“Strict action will be taken against those who are responsible for killing the pregnant elephant,” Vijayan said. “[The] forest department is probing the case and the culprits will be brought to book.”
The wild elephant had left the Silent Valley forest and meandered into a nearby village in search of food. It was here that she ate the fireworks-filled pineapple that villagers use to protect their fields against wild boars. No arrests have been made a week after the incident. The police have launched an investigation and registered a first information report against unidentified persons.
According to forest officials, when the elephant ate the fruit, the fireworks exploded in her mouth, badly injuring her. After walking around the village for days in pain, unable to eat anything, the elephant went back into the wild.
Meanwhile, reports suggested that another young female elephant may have died in April in a similar manner in Kollam district. An unidentified senior forest official told NDTV that a postmortem of the elephant showed that it suffered jaw fractures that “could have been through something it consumed,” but added there was no confirmation as of now. “Forest officials say a chemical analysis report is awaited,” the official said. “We suspect it to be crackers.”
The elephant was found near a stream in the Pathanapuram forest. “She was very weak and we could not tranquillise her,” the forest officer said. “We did try to give her some medication but she moved away a few kilometers. The next day, she had collapsed.”