The Kerala police arrested a man for his allegedinvolvement in the death of a pregnant elephant, said the state forest ministeron Friday. This is the first arrest in the case that had sparked an outcry onsocial media. The arrest comes a day after Kerala Chief Minister PinarayiVijayan said that three suspects have been identified.
The Chief Wildlife Warden Surendra Kumar said thatthe man, who is in his forties, allegedly handled explosives and also assistedothers to feed the elephant with food stuffed with firecrackers.
However, the police are looking for more suspects.
The wild elephant strayed into a village near SilentValley National Park in Palakkad last month and is suspected to have eatensomething with firecrackers stuffed in it. It exploded in the elephant's mouth.The animal walked for days in agony before it went into a river and diedstanding on May 27.
Villagers in the region often use firecrackers orexplosives stuffed in food – fruits or animal fat – to protect their fieldsfrom wild animals like boar and the horrific practice has been widelycondemned.