- An autopsy of a wild elephant in India revealed a possible consumption of fruits loaded with firecrackers that exploded in the elephant’s mouth.
- The incident happened in the state of Kerala on May 27, 2020.
- A local forest officer said that the elephant has a fractured bones and several damages to the mouth due to the possible explosion. The mammal did not die instantly from the explosion, but was not able to eat and died of starvation.
- Residents in the area sometimes ward off and kill wild boars by stuffing firecrackers in pineapples and other sweet fruits.
- One person identified only by name of Wilson has been arrested for the role in the killing.
- The 15-year old elephant was found injured on May 23, but the forest officers failed to immobilize the large mammal so it can undergo treatment.
- On May 25, the elephant was seen on a river but the officers cannot use tranquilizer while it is in water because the animal can drown.
- Officers tried to use two captive elephants to guide the injured animal out of the river. For almost two days, the injured animal stood on the same spot and give way on May 27 due to its internal injuries.
- Authorities are investigating and finding some clues to determine who was involved in the killing of the elephant.
- The environment minister of India said that this practice of using explosive-stuffed fruits is not part of the Indian culture.
- Half of the world’s wild Asian elephants are found in India with more than 27,000 individuals in the country.
- Human activity that destroys habitat has been the main threat for these elephants.