The incident which leads to the unfortunate death of a female elephant and her unborn child in Kerala had stirred a huge amount of controversy on social media. The video which was uploaded on social media showed the female elephant trying to heal herself by staying in the stream. This video had left people gutted and sad. On Instagram alone, around 5000+ posts were uploaded in a month with “#elephantdeath”. These posts include pictures, poetries from small meme ages to videos showing grief from big celebrities like Akshay Kumar and Kartik Aaryan.
People were given a brutal vision of what animal abuse might look like. This leads to many appeals to find the person who stuffed crackers in the bananas and give him/her/them as brutal punishment as possible. There were letters written to the Kerala government by common people as well as from animal welfare organizations like PETA(People For Ethical Treatment of Animals).
What actions were taken after all this?
After listening and acknowledging the pleads of the public and animal welfare organizations, the Central Government asked the Kerala Government to perform an investigation of what happened. And hence began an investigation which ultimately came with an outcome which made this situation even more controversial.
On the surface, the following situation took place:
A Female elephant stumbled into the farms where she consumed a pineapple which was stuffed with crackers. The crackers caused an internal injury to the female elephant. She went into the stream to calm the pain caused by the injury. While the rangers available at the moment came into action and decided to provide her first aid to reduce the blood loss. But they were late as she slowly succumbed to death due to her internal injuries. Hence, after examining the corpse of the elephant they observed an unborn fetus who was already dead due to the toxic chemicals of the crackers. They even arrested a person who allegedly had stuffed pineapples with crackers.
But a surprising outcome was observed after talking with people around that village which showed a completely different perspective to this brutal scene.
What had caused which lead to the death of a pregnant mother elephant and her unborn?
“This was an accident, not a planned animal abuse done for entertainment. The cracker stuffed fruit wasn’t a weapon but a defense system to protect their crop from banishing.”
As surprising this sounds, many farmers in Kerala use this cracker-stuffed fruit to save their crops and their young ones from wild boar. These animals raid crops like plantains, coconuts, tapioca, etc. These crops are the only source of income for the farmers and to protect their crops from these omnivores, they keep cracker stuffed fruits to scare them.
But, unfortunately, the wild elephant consumed this supposed bait to satisfy her hunger. And the person who was arrested for this crime was a farmer who wished to save the only source of income from a wild boar.
What should be done to avoid another situation like this considering the welfare of both-farmers and the animals?
- As observed in the report, the illegal defense system from wild boars was the reason which led to this and numerous incidences with humans as well as other animals like elephants, cows, goats, etc. Hence, the steps of controlling the over breed of wild boars legally in a safer way.
- Preservation and protection of elephants were required to be taken into consideration, as elephants are not only into endangered species but also have a significant presence in the Hindu religion (as Lord Ganesha).
- The people who are taking illegal measures in form of cracker stuffed fruits are required to be given punishment as it is an act of animal abuse (for wild boars, elephants, and other animals) as well as human deaths.
- A helpline number or a physical signal should be developed by the forest department and be taught to the locals so that if any such incident takes place then they could be able to save the animal’s life.
Humans need to show more sympathy and stop giving excuses after committing and have to understand the basic ecological nature and be nice to animals unless they aren’t trying to harm. All those who are against animal cruelty mist not only speak but take necessary actions to help in whatever they can.