Samuel Pachuau, the Wildlife Warden of the Silent Valley National Park, Kerala, India, claimed that the culprits had placed firecrackers inside a pineapple and then given it to a pregnant elephant who chomped down on it causing the firecrackers to explode which severely damaged her mouth. A full investigation is going to take place.
Apparently, villagers in the area are said to fill pineapples with firecrackers to protect fields and homes from wild animals. It appears to be a habit or a culture thing in the area. Perhaps the elephant grabbed one.
A veterinarian was called and he examined the elephant who had taken up residence in a river presumably to ease the pain. The veterinarian made a grim diagnosis. He said that the upper and lower jaw, teeth and tongue of the elephant were badly damaged. It appeared from the examination that the wound was two weeks old. On that basis, it appears that the elephant had not eaten for at least two weeks.
She had sat in the river and had died there. The cause of death was assessed as being due to aspiration of water into her lungs as they were filled with water. She had drowned sitting in the water. It appears that she had ingested water perhaps to ease the pain and the water had gone into her lungs.
There’s been a huge condemnation of the death of this elephant. Cricket and Bollywood stars led a chorus of outrage after a video showed the elephant standing in a river for hours. Comment: it appears to me that she might have been in the river for a lot longer than that. Reports are that she walked into the river and waited for three days as her life slowly ebbed away. The story is all over the Internet.
This is a news/opinion article please note – comment: We don’t know if the act was deliberate or accidental. Was she given the pineapple or did she pick it up as it was lying around? No one has been charged with animal cruelty. I suspect that we will never know the outcome of the investigation.