A pregnant elephant was killed in Kerala’s Malappuram after she was fed a pineapple laced with explosives by locals last week. The elephant was in such great pain that she died standing in a river — an extremely unusual sight.
The heartbreaking incident was shared by Mohan Krishnan, Section Forest Officer, Nilambur on social media.
The elephant had wandered into the village area in search of food. There some locals fed her a pineapple in which they had hidden firecrackers — a common tactic to drive away wild boars.
As the elephant ate the fruit, the firecracker burst in her mouth, causing her immeasurable pain.
“She came out to the village in search of food. She did not know about the selfish human beings that she was about to witness. She must have thought, they would spare her as she was carrying two lives. She believed everyone. When the pineapple that she ate burst, she must have been in shock not thinking about herself, but the child she was about to give birth to in 18 or 20 months,” the forest officer wrote in his post.
Due to her mouth injury, the elephant roamed around hungry but unable to eat anything. But even in deep agony, the gentle soul did not hurt a single villager or damage a house.
To alleviate her pain, she went and stood in the Velliyar river.
Forest officer Krishnan, who was part of the rescue team, said, “When I saw her, she was standing in the river, with her mouth and trunk submerged in water. She must have stood in the water to avoid any insects feeding on her wounds.”
The forest officials called in two elephants to pull the female elephant on to the shore but before the rescue could be completed, she had died standing in water on May 27.
Her farewell was even more sorrowful. “Everyone was shocked, the captive elephants were very quick to realize what had happened, they shed tears. I felt the river start to boil with those tears, a river’s protest against the selfish mankind,” Krishnan wrote on Facebook.
Officials only realised she was pregnant when her post mortem was conducted. “The doctor who conducted the postmortem said as he wept that she wasn’t alone. Though the mask helped him hide the expression, I understood his sorrow,” Krishnan added.
The forest department finally laid her to rest.
Ending his note, Krishnan said, “We cremated her there itself. Even as fire engulfed her, I prayed to the mother in her. Being one from mankind all I could say was, sister…. sorry.”