Death of an elephant

Muna Al-Fuzai

What kind of a human loses the sense of humanity and places a pineapple stuffed with firecrackers that caused the death of an innocent pregnant female elephant? I am so angry because of this horrific and evil crime. I am not the only one, but many people in and out of India are horrified as well.

The female elephant entered a village near a park in Kerala looking for food, but ate a pineapple containing firecrackers that led to her death. She was seriously hurt, and dunked her trunk and mouth in a river in an attempt to drive away flies and insects that gathered on her wounds. The fire crackers had exploded in her mouth, causing her serious injuries, which led to her death. But she did not die alone – her fetus also died with her. 

The Kerala state forest official said the 15-year-old elephant was unable to eat after the injury, and it died in the river on May 27. It was really a very painful incident for many people around the world that occurred at a very bad time, as most people are living in a messy psychological state for various reasons, whether economic or social.

The state forest department announced the arrest of the suspect, and said it is investigating whether he was a hunter or farmer who wanted to kill the elephant to prevent her from damaging crops. I hope the criminal will receive fair punishment and the maximum penalty.

News of the elephant’s death sparked outrage among animal protection activists and on social media in India and around the world.  Some news report said some of the villagers who live in the area placed firecrackers in fruits to protect their crops from wild animals, or erected electric fences with the aim of diverting elephants away from their fields located near the forests. Although this may sound justified for the villagers, it did not seem humane to the world, and the death of the elephant resulted in anger.

The world has not yet recovered from successive global events since January – from COVID-19 to the recent incidents of racism and unjustified killings in the US. The killing of elephants is a horrific act. But the forest department in India stated that it will leave no stone unturned to ensure maximum punishment for the offenders.

The elephant had been in pain for hours and started walking among the villagers without hurting anyone and ended up standing in the river, and remained there until she died. Police and specialists tried to get her out of the water to save her, but she remained standing until she died with her fetus.

Despite the severity of the situation, sadly animal abuse is repeated many times in many countries, whether with elephants or other pets such as cats and dogs. These ill behaviors even sometimes occur in labs when using poor animals in experiments, such as monkeys, cats and dogs. The same thing happens when animals are brutally beaten before slaughter to accelerate the end of the process.

I believe it is shameful to kill the animal brutally, but unfortunately, this is justified by many people and companies too. I believe nothing justifies brutality against peaceful animals, so I do not eat meat.

I hope the Indian government will set a law that makes such an act punishable against those who place any type of explosives in a fruit against innocent animals. There are certainly many ways to protect crops and villages of farmers other than this painful method that caused the death of a pregnant animal and raised the ire of many people. We are in a difficult time and tolerance of crime cannot be accepted.

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