The pregnant elephant that died in Kerala's Palakkad district last month, might have accidentally eaten a cracker-stuffed fruit, according to the union environment ministry.
The ministry in a tweet stated that primary investigations revealed that the elephant might have accidentally consumed such a fruit.
Primary investigations revealed, the elephant may have accidentally consumed in such fruit. @moefcc is in constant touch with Kerala Govt & has sent them detailed advisory for immediate arrest of culprits & stringent action against any erring official that led to elephant's death- MoEF&CC (@moefcc) June 6, 2020
The ministry added that locals at times resort to illegally planting explosives inside fruits to repel wild boars from entering plantation farms.
The ministry also stated that it has sent a detailed advisory to the Kerala government for the immediate arrest of the culprits.
All concerned depts. of @moefcc & Kerala Govt are handling the matter in unbiased manner & we are confident of concluding the investigation sooner than later, to be followed by exemplary #LegalActions & punishment that will act as strong deterrent to committing such future acts.- MoEF&CC (@moefcc) June 6, 2020
So far, one person has been arrested and efforts are being made to nab other individuals who may have participated in this inhuman act, the ministry added.
As of now, one person has been arrested & efforts are on to nab more individuals who may have participated in this illegal & utterly inhumanae act. The @WCCBHQ has also been directed to act on this matter with utmost sense of urgency.#WildlifeProtection- MoEF&CC (@moefcc) June 6, 2020
The Ministry, on Sunday, held a meeting with several officials to discuss the progress in the matter. However, the details of the meeting are still awaited.
Last month, a 15-year-old pregnant elephant consumed a pineapple filled with powerful firecrackers which exploded in its mouth in the Silent Valley forest. The elephant died a week later in the Velliyar river on May 27.
According to a preliminary post-mortem report, the elephant had major wounds in its oral cavity, most likely following an explosive blast due to which she could not eat for nearly two weeks leading to her collapse in a river and drowning. Inhaling water leading to lung failure was the immediate cause of the animal's death, said the report prepared on May 28.
In addition to this, a plea has also been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a probe by the CBI or a special investigation team (SIT) into the death of a pregnant wild elephant.
The plea filed in the apex court has alleged that prima facie it appeared to be a "calculated and organised" racket to kill elephants. The plea has also urged the apex court to call for the entire record of these cases along with similar incidents, if any, regarding the killing of elephants in Kerala and in other states.