Center to Investigate the Death of Pregnant Elephant at Kerala

Center to Investigate the Death of Pregnant Elephant at Kerala

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday saidthat the incident of the death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala will beinvestigated by the central government. On Wednesday, some villagers inMallapuram in Kerala fed a pregnant elephant a pineapple stuffed withexplosives. After consuming the pineapple the explosives blasted leading to thedeath of the elephant.

Following the incident, the minister tweeted, "The government had taken "very serious note" of the killing of the elephant. We will not leave any stone unturned to investigate properly and nab the culprit(s). This is not an Indian culture to feed firecrackers and kill."

Though Javadekar's tweet said the incident took place in Mallapuram, the elephant died in the Palakkad district of Kerala.

The wild elephant strayed into a village near SilentValley National Park in Palakkad last Wednesday when it ate a pineapple filledwith firecrackers. It exploded in its mouth and in that state the elephantwalked for days in pain before it went into a river and died standing on May27.

Photos shared on social media showed the elephant standing in the river with her mouth and trunk in the water, perhaps for some relief from the unbearable pain. Officials guessed from its shrunken form that the animal may have eaten the fruit 20 days ago and had starved since.

Villagers in the region often use firecracker orexplosive-filled fruit to protect their fields from wild animals.

Celebrities, activities, and thousands of social media users have demanded action and expressed sorrow at the elephant's death.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Wednesday that strict action would be taken against those responsible for the elephant's death. "The forest department is probing the case and the culprits will be brought to book," Vijayan said.

A First Information Report has been filed againstunknown persons. No arrests have been made so far.

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