In a horrible turn of events, a pregnant elephant from southern India has died after eating fruit filled with firecrackers. She had wandered into a nearby village located in the Kerala’s Silent Valley Forest in search of food, when she found some pineapple stuffed with firecrackers.
Apparently, the very trusting elephant had found the pineapple and decided to take some to eat. When she bit down on the fruit, it suddenly exploded in her mouth. The firecracker managed to break her upper and lower jaw, ultimately injuring her entire mouth in the process. Because of this, she was left without the ability to eat or drink anything.
One wildlife official, Mohan Krishnan, made a sweet post on social media talking about what had happened after the pregnant elephant was found dying in a river nearby. He shared, “She trusted everyone. When the pineapple she ate exploded, she must have been shocked not thinking about herself, but about the child she was going to give birth to in 18 to 20 months.”
He continued, “She didn’t harm a single human being even when she ran in searing pain in the streets of the village. She didn’t crash a single home.”
“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,” he added.
Apparently, officials even attempted to bring the hurt elephant out of the river in order to get her treated, they even brought in two captive elephants to try to get her out of the water but she refused. Sadly, she stayed in the water until she took her very last breath.
Once they were finally able to bring her body in for an autopsy, the results showed that she was indeed, two-months pregnant. She was later on brought back to the forest where her remains were cremated.
When asked about how something like this could have happened, a spokesperson for the Kerala Forest Department explained that it’s not uncommon for farmers to stuff different kinds of fruit with firecrackers and put them around the edges of their fields to keep wild boars from eating up their crops. Unfortunately this time, it was a sweet and docile elephant that happened to get to the fruit and eventually died a slow death because of it.
The spokesperson told Sky News, “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.”
The official Twitter page of Kerala Forest Department posted: “Article 51-A (g) of the Indian Constitution says that it shall be duty of every citizen of India to have compassion for living creatures.”
The post continued, “The pregnant elephant… was killed in human-wildlife conflict. Action has already been initiated. But where lies our duty?”
After the story of the pregnant elephant dying by firecracker went viral, people all over the world shared their sadness and horrified sentiments. Some also paid tribute to the innocent elephant and her unborn child by creating art and other types of tributes.
Although what had happened was most probably an accident and not a deliberate attack on the mommy elephant. A team from the Kerala Forest Department is still doing the proper investigation and questioning over the elephant’s horrendous death. There is even a petition on Change.org clamoring for justice for the elephant that has already gotten over 1 million signatures.
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