Palakkad: A pregnant wild elephant in Kerala's Silent Valley Forest died after a pineapple filled with powerful crackers offered by a man exploded in her mouth when she chomped on it, a senior forest officer said on Tuesday.
"Her jaw was broken and she was unable to eat after she chewed the pineapple and it exploded in her mouth. It is certain that she was offered the pineapple filled with crackers to eliminate her," Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden Surendrakumar said.
The incident was reported from the fringe areas of the Silent Valley in Palakkad's Attappadi.
Surendrakumar said the elephant died at Velliyar River on May 27.
He said the post-mortem revealed that the pachyderm was pregnant.
"I have directed the forest officials to nab the culprit. We will punish him for 'hunting' the elephant," he said.
The issue of the pachyderm's tragic death came to light after Mohan Krishnan, a forest officer, posted an emotional note on his Facebook page, narrating the death of the elephant in the waters of the Velliyar River.
"When we saw her she was standing in the river, with her head dipped in the water. She had a sixth sense that she was going to die. She took the Jalasamadhi in the river in a standing position", Krishnan, who was deputed to bring the elephant back to the shore, wrote.
He also posted the photo of the elephant standing in the river water.
Meanwhile, the Kerala Forest Department posted a heartfelt tweet on the incident.
"Article 51-A (g) of the Indian Constitution says that it shall be duty of every citizen of India to have compassion for living creatures. The pregnant elephant in pic was killed in human- wildlife conflict.Action has already been initiated. But where lies our duty? N humanity??" the tweet said.
(With PTI inputs.)
Correction and clarification: An earlier version of the story mentioned that the elephant died in Malappuram district, though the death happened in Palakkad. The error has been corrected.