A soon-to-be mother elephant died while standing in a river after eating a pineapple filled with firecrackers in Kerala’s Silent Valley, India.
The elephant was found standing still in the river on May 27, according to Sky News. The animal reportedly wandered at least five to 10 kilometers (6 miles) in the woods to find food, but it was unclear where she found the pineapple.
Mohan Krishnan, an officer from the Kerala Forest Department, was one of the members who tried to rescue the elephant. He shared what happened to the animal on Facebook.
“She trusted everyone,” the officer posted on May 30. “When the pineapple she ate exploded, she must have been shocked not thinking about herself, but about the child she was going to give birth to in 18 to 20 months.”
A spokesperson from the forest department said farmers usually put food filled with firecrackers inside as a way to keep wild boars away.
Despite her badly injured tongue and mouth that resulted in her being unable to eat, the elephant remained gentle and never caused anyone any trouble.
“She didn’t harm a single human being even when she ran in searing pain in the streets of the village,” Krishnan said. “She didn’t crush a single home.”
— Pranitha Subhash (@pranitasubhash) June 3, 2020
Although there is “no conclusive evidence that injury to lower jaw was caused by pineapple stuffed with cracker,” the Kerala Forest Department tweeted that “this may be a possibility.”
After launching an investigation, the Kerala Forest Department has arrested a man in his 40s who is allegedly involved in the death of the elephant, NDTV reported. The three other suspects have also been identified.
“The arrested man is a rubber tapper. A search is on for others,” Palakkad district police chief G Siva Vikram said.
Authorities believe the pregnant elephant suffered for 20 days from her injuries and starvation before being found lifeless.
More than 1.4 million people condemned the elephant’s death via a Change.org petition demanding justice for the pregnant elephant.
Feature Image via Mohan Krishnan