Warning: Graphic content!
While the human race struggles with the pandemic and pledges to be '#InThisTogether', the same human race committed a crime that is beyond anyone's imagination. Recently in Kerala, an elephant was found to have died after being fed a pineapple filled with firecrackers. In the process of chewing, the firecrackers exploded in her mouth severely damaging her jaw, killing her and the baby she was going to give birth to in 20 months. Even after the pregnant elephant was hurt, she simply walked through the village and passed away in a river failing to fight the excruciating pain.
As soon as the postmortem report came out confirming the cause of death, social media was flooded with outrage over the heinous act. Everyone from commoners to celebrities condemned the action demanding strict punishment to the culprit(s) for the murder of the 15-year-old wild elephant.
This artwork by Instagram user Bratati Maity went viral as people started reposting this on social media with heart-wrenching captions. Among these were Anushka Sharma, Shraddha Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, and Varun Dhawan to name a few.
Earlier today, Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, tweeted that the case will be investigated properly and the culprit(s) behind it will be punished. He also assured that besides the Kerala Forest Department, which is on a "manhunt" for those responsible, the central government is also taking serious note of the inhuman act of animal cruelty.
Central Government has taken a very serious note of the killing of an elephant in Mallapuram, #Kerala. 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.@moefcc @PIB_India @PIBHindi— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) June 4, 2020
A few hours ago, Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, took to Twitter to assure that justice will prevail. In his 5-part tweets, he further said, "We will also try to address the causes behind the increased incidences of Human-wildlife conflict. Climate change could be adversely affecting both the local communities & animals." He went on to add that, "we are saddened by the fact some have used this tragedy to unleash a hate campaign. Lies built upon inaccurate descriptions and half-truths were employed to obliterate the truth. Some even tried to import bigotry into the narrative. Wrong priorities." He concluded by saying how Kerala is a society that respects the outrage against injustice.
An investigation is underway, focusing on three suspects. The police and forest departments will jointly investigate the incident. The district police chief and the district forest officer visited the site today. We will do everything possible to bring the culprits to justice.— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) June 4, 2020
Samuel Pachuau, Wildlife Warden of the Silent Valley National Park (where the elephant lived) said, "We are quite certain to find the perpetrators of this crime, which is in no way acceptable at all. It was on the 23rd of last month we came to know about this incident when the elephant was spotted near a water source outside the National park. Two sets of teams are probing this incident." She was spotted standing in Velliyar River which is a part of the buffer zone of the national park.
"We summoned a veterinarian and later on the 25th an elephant expert David Abraham came and examined and explained to us the bad situation," added Pachuau. After standing in water for days, the elephant took her last breath on May 27 succumbing to her injuries.
Explaining the cause of her death, Abraham told IANS, "We informed the Forest officials that the prognosis was bad and two days later the elephant died in a sitting posture in the water. The next day, when we conducted the post-mortem we found a nearly two-month-old foetus. From the uterus, we could make out it was the first pregnancy of the elephant."
"Only when we conducted the autopsy, we could see that the upper and lower jaw, teeth and tongue of the elephant was badly damaged. The cause of death is due to the aspiration of the lungs as it was filled with water. It was a sad day for many of us," Abraham told the news agency. Reports from the initial investigation suggest that the elephant could have accidentally eaten the fruit that was laid as a trap for wild boars.
Here's how the Internet came together to condemn the incident.
Maybe animals are less wild and humans less human. What happened with that #elephant is heartbreaking, inhumane and unacceptable! Strict action should be taken against the culprits. #AllLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/sOmUsL3Ayc— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) June 3, 2020
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Elephants are my favourite animal. They are one of the most empathetic beings, they are also known to be extremely intelligent. Did you know that an elephant’s brain reacts the same way a human brain reacts to puppies? They think we are cute. We failed them! In Kerala, a pregnant elephant was fed fire crackers stuffed in pineapples which exploded in her mouth. She walked through the village in pain, not trampling any humans, and died in a river. This act was barbaric, cruel and absolutely heartless. We must stand together and be the voice of these beautiful beings. People will not fear the law until animal cruelty laws are implemented and executed. Please let’s do our bit, have we forgotten that we pray to elephants, that we celebrate them? 💔🐘
A post shared by Athiya Shetty (@athiyashetty) on
An act most #inhumane to will fully feed a pineapple full of fire crackers to friendly wild pregnant #Elephant is just unacceptable..strict action should be taken against the culprits sir 🙏🏽@vijayanpinarayi @CMOKerala @PrakashJavdekar @moefcc @ntca_india https://t.co/ittFQogkQV— Randeep Hooda (@RandeepHooda) June 2, 2020
How??????— Shraddha (@ShraddhaKapoor) June 2, 2020
How can something like this happen???
Do people not have hearts???
My heart has shattered and broken...
The perpetrators need to be punished in the STRICTEST way. @PetaIndia @CMOKerala pic.twitter.com/697VQXYvmb
WHO ARE THESE MONSTERS???? @vijayanpinarayi @CMOKerala @palakkadpolice and Kerala govt. should punish these sick inhuman men swiftly !!!! Inexplicable horror! Poor poor innocent soul😥😥😥😥😥 https://t.co/NXuXus4Jcg— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) June 3, 2020
In fact, according to recent reports, another elephant's death in the state under similar circumstances has surfaced. A young female elephant is said to have died in April in the Pathanapuram forests in Kollam district. The postmortem reports of her also show jaw fractures that "could have been through something it consumed." However, this is not confirmed yet. Forest officials say a chemical analysis report is awaited. "We suspect it to be crackers," a senior forest official told NDTV.
Whenever something this Earth-shattering happens in India, the momentum dies down as soon as it erupts. We hope this time around, that doesn't happen and the voiceless get strict laws to be their voice in the face of brutal humanity. Let's not let the movement die out and take action to bring justice to the elephant and many more like her.
Featured Image: Twitter