In a rather gruesome incident, a pregnant elephant ate a pineapple filled with firecrackers in Kerala's Palakkad region. The elephant eventually died after bearing unimaginable pain and suffering due to an explosion.
The pineapple with the firecrackers was probably a snare used to catch wild boars and according to a senior forest official, this is not the first time an elephant met its death due to an explosion in its mouth caused due to crude country bombs or firecrackers. A similar incident had happened in April.
The pregnant wild elephant originally belonged to Silent Valley National Park (SVNP), Palakkad. As the elephant died, she remained calm despite being in excruciating pain. The elephant kept standing and died at Velliyar River, Malappuram, with its trunk in the water.
The elephant was 15 years old and was probably getting some relief as it stood in the water after her tongue and mouth exploded. Mohan Krishnan, Section Forest Officer, Nilambur, shared the sad incident on his Facebook page where he had acted as the Rapid Response Team official to rescue the elephant which was in distress.
His post has become viral and people are venting out their anger on what happened. The elephant had reportedly come to the town hoping to get more food so as to care for its calf which was yet to be born.
The forest officials got two Kumki elephants named Surendran and Neelakantan to get the injured elephant to the shore of Velliyar River. But, unfortunately, the elephant died its painful death before that.
When a postmortem examination was carried out, it was learnt that the reason for the elephant's death was due to asphyxia where water had got into her lungs and trachea. Dr David Abraham, Assistant Forest Veterinary Officer, Thrissur, carried out the postmortem. He stated that it was clear that the elephant would not survive. The forest officials wanted to euthanize the elephant seeing the agony but the message from the forest department was to return it back to the SVNP.
Dr David said, "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 seeing her heart, I spotted the amniotic fluid and realized that she was pregnant."
It was an emotional moment for Dr David and the forest officials who saw what happened.
Samuel Pachuau, Wildlife Warden, SVNP, stated that an investigation is underway.