INDIA NEWS: Anger and disgust fill social media as a pregnant wild elephant from an Indian national park, Silent Valley National Park (SVNP), was killed with firecrackers. The injured elephant remained calm though she was under excruciating pain and didn’t create any havoc much to the village much to the disbelief of the forest department officials.
The elephant died at Velliyar River, Malappuram, on May 27, in a standing position with its trunk in the water. The 15-year-old elephant resorted to standing in the river so its mouth and tongue could manage the pain caused by the firecrackers. Mohan Krishnan, Section Forest Officer in Nilambur, shared the news of the tragedy on his Facebook page where he had acted as the Rapid Response Team official to rescue the elephant following the incident. The viral post has garnered more than 1,200 shares.
“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,” forest officer Mohan Krishnan, who was part of the Rapid Response Team to rescue the elephant, wrote on Facebook.
What happened exactly?
The wild elephant had wandered into the town in hopes to get more food so as to care for its calf which was in its womb. The animal was fed a pineapple, packed with firecrackers inside, that exploded causing severe injuries in her mouth leaving it in pain and hunger.
Soon after park officials were notified of the situation, two other elephants were brought in to lure the pregnant elephant back to the park. But much to the disappointment of forest department officials, the elephant died while standing in the river. The 15-year-old elephant’s death was ruled as death by asphyxiation after water had travelled into its lungs and trachea. Dr David Abraham, Assistant Forest Veterinary Officer, Thrissur, indicated on the first observation that it was evident that animal would not survive.
“I have so far done more than 250 postmortems 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 foetus of the baby in my hands. Initially, none of us was aware that the elephant was pregnant. After I had seen its heart and then happened to see the amniotic fluid did I realize that it’s pregnant”, said Dr David Abraham.
The elephant was taken back inside the forest in a truck, where the forest officials cremated her.
“She needs to be given the farewell she deserves. For that, we took her inside the forest in a lorry. She lay there on firewood, in the land she played and grew up. The doctor who did her post-mortem told me that she was not alone. I could sense his sadness though the expression on his face was not visible due to his mask. We cremated her in a pyre there. We bowed before her and paid our last respects,” the forest officer said.
Bollywood actors and celebrities share their disgust at the tragedy see their reactions here.