One arrested, two in custody in connection with elephant death

A dead elephant is retrieved from a river in the Palakkad district of Kerala

A dead elephant is retrieved from a river in the Palakkad district of Kerala

The elephant had consumed a pineapple filled with powerful fire crackers which exploded in the animal's mouth in the Silent Valley Forest, in Palakkad district bordering Malappuram, and died about a week later.

Maneka Gandhi, a member of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), alleged that the elephant had been killed in Malappuram district, which has a 70% Muslim population, despite it being over 50 miles west from River Velliyar in Palakkad where she actually died. When the elephant started eating it, the crackers burst, seriously injuring its upper and lower jaw and tongue. The wound was presumably caused by some explosives set as a trap by local farmers against wild animals. These are repeat offenders.

The death of a pregnant wild elephant suspected to have been fatally injured after eating fruit stuffed with firecrackers that exploded in its mouth has stirred public outrage

"We tried our best to save the lives of both the mother and the child, but we failed", KK Sunil Kumar told the BBC.

The Centre has paid almost '6 crore between 2014 and 2018, under Project Tiger, to states as assistance for compensation to families of people killed by tigers-for wildlife habitat development, between FY15 and FY19, it gave the states Rs 532 crore. Nothing. Look at the communal conflict there.

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Forest officer Mohan Krishnan wrote on his Facebook page: "When we saw her she was standing in the river, with her head dipped in the water. No action has ever been taken against a single poacher or wildlife killer so they keep doing it".

The elephant is an important element in Kerala's cultural memory and traditions - it is an integral part of temple festivals and pageantry.

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Following the brutal incident, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said strict action would be taken against those responsible for the elephant's death.

This, after top forest officials said there is no evidence that locals fed the elephant pineapple stuffed with firecrackers, as was widely reported in the media on Thursday. "It was very weak. For instance, they throw poison on roads so that 300-400 birds and dogs die at one time", she said. "Let us be that people who fight injustice in all its forms; everytime, everywhere".

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Kochi: The post-mortem report on the shocking death of an elephant in a river in Kerala has confirmed that the pregnant cow indeed had major wounds in its oral cavity, likely the result of a firecracker burst in its mouth.

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