Life and death are inevitable, and every living organism needs to deal with both of them. However, when one living being pushes another to the jaws of death, only for his momentary pleasure, it is indeed a sad occurrence. A look at the case of the elephant died in Kerala, is enough to make us question humanity.
What happened with the elephant?
To understand the story of the elephant & pineapple, we must go to the Silent Valley area of Attappadi, Kerala. According to reports, a pregnant elephant was seen roaming around the villages in pursuit of food. Some miscreants filled a pineapple with powerful crackers. As she chomped on it, the crackers exploded resulting in injury to her jaw.
Later the elephant traveled to a lake as she breathed her last. It is believed that her traveling to a water body was to soothe the painful burning sensation that the busting of the crackers brought along.
Finding out about the incident
The sad incident where the elephant died in Kerala came to light due to the efforts of Mohan Krishnan. Mohan Krishnan is a section forest officer based out of the Mannarkkad zone of Palakkad. He was a part of the RRT (rapid response team) that was engaged in rescuing the elephant.
According to his Facebook post, the victim elephant was found standing in a lake with its head down and trunk in the water when officials went to rescue her. She had been standing in that position for 24 hours before succumbing to her injuries. According to officials, the elephant suffered deep internal injuries because of the crackers that burst in her mouth.
The post-mortem of the elephant was conducted by the assistant forest veterinary officer who informed that the explosives bursting the elephant’s mouth leading to grave injuries on its lower and upper jaws.
The elephant was due to give birth in the next 18-20 months. It is to be noted that as the mammal walked around villages, she did not hurt anyone. This, despite being severely injured in the mouth and tongue and starving in the stomach. One can only fathom the pain, both physical and mental, that this poor fellow mammal endured in a couple of weeks before her death.
Challenges in finding the culprit
It is to be noted that, what happened is not just a demonstration of animal cruelty but also a case of elephant baby death. Miscreants responsible for the act must be punished harshly. Doing so will help us bring justice to the pregnant elephant and her unborn baby. It will also go a long way in sending a message to the society that such inhumane acts will not be tolerated in a civilized society.
Sadly for us, the people responsible for this act are yet to be identified. Here’s what makes identifying the culprits such a major challenge –
- The areas where this brutal activity happened is extremely remote. This makes it difficult for the authorities to track the incident. Relying on the information given by local villagers is the only way out. Such word-of-mouth is often vague and inadequate. Also, when information is collected from several villagers, it is often contradictory.
- Another angle to the story is the fact that the elephant may not have been given the cracker-filled pineapple deliberately. In the past, cases of such snares being laid out to kill pigs and wild boars have been noted. While each of these cases is as grave as that of the elephant killed in Kerala, getting to the bottom of this is an important part of uncovering the whole story and punishing the culprits.
- An elephant can walk an average of 100 km in a day. This means that the elephant could have traveled a significant distance before giving up to its injuries, making matters all the way more difficult for forest officials.
The brutal incident where the elephant died in Kerala is believed to have happened on the 27th of May 2020. It was only a couple of weeks later that the incident came to public light. Since then it has become a trending topic in social media and thousands of people have come out to demand justice for the elephant died in Kerala –
- The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan has issued a statement on the 3rd of June informing that the forest department is investing the case and promised strict actions against the offenders.
- Ratan Tata, the chairman of Tata Son Emeritus tweeted seeking justice for the poor elephant.
- Southern actresses such as Trisha, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Pranitha Subhash, Rajisha Vijayan, and actor Neeraj Madhav all took to Instagram to mourn the death of the elephant and her unborn baby. Actress Warina Hussain echoed the feelings on Twitter.
- With people outraged over the incident, the #RipHumanity became trending on Twitter. From Twitter to Facebook, people condemned this act on all social media platforms.
While condemning this incident, celebrities and the common man have collectively called for more stringent laws for the protection of animals. Such pleas were made with the hope to keep a check on elephant deaths in India. Given this, it is worthwhile to have a look at some of the existing laws.
- Article 51A (g) of the Indian Constitution states that every citizen of the country must be compassionate towards all living beings. This is among their fundamental duties towards the nation.
- Under Section 9 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972, any attempt to poison a wild animal is punishable by law. Baiting, capturing or trapping of such animals is an offense as well. Any such act will make the culprit liable to pay a fine of Rs 25,000 or serve an imprisonment of 7 years or both.
Whether we need more laws or stricter implementation of the laws is debatable. However, with the way things are going, legal action needs to be taken to restore one’s faith in humanity. The elephant died in Kerala is indeed a shame on all of us and unless we act on it on a priority basis, we will not be able to show our face to the next generation.
Image by Deccan Herald