Pregnant elephant dies in Kerala from eating firecracker-spiked pineapple
Both mother and baby died. For days before dying, the animal wandered with excruciating pain. The incident has caused outrage in the country, but the authorities do not yet know if it was an accident or deliberate. India is home to 27,000 wild elephants and 2,500 in captivity.
Thiruvananthapuram (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A 15-year-old pregnant elephant and the baby she was carrying died in Kerala after she eat a pineapple spiked with firecrackers.
After straying into a village where she ate the fruit she wandered off in excruciating pain. Seeking relief, the animal immersed her trunk and mouth into the water of a river.
Wildlife workers and vets tried to save her, but the injuries caused by the explosion were too serious, and prevented her from eating.
The incident sparked outrage across the country, but the authorities do not yet know if it was a deliberate act or an accident.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that that the investigation was focused on “three suspects” and that two people were questioned and released.
Some surmise that the animal ate a “pig cracker”, a firecracker-spiked fruit used to scare away wild boars and pigs from crops, a rather common practice among farmers who sometimes also target tuskers.
India has 27,000 wild elephants and 2,500 in captivity. When they come near villages and farmland, farmers are known to retaliate, an issue raised by environmental groups in India as well as other Asian countries, especially Sri Lanka.