The postmortem, performed at Thiruvizhamkunnu Forest Station, revealed that the elephant was pregnant.
KOCHI: The pregnant wild elephant which met with a gory end in Kerala had major wounds in its oral cavity, most likely following an explosive blast, due to which she could not eat for nearly two weeks leading to her collapse in a river and drowning, according to post-mortem report.
“The major and incapacitating wounds and injuries in oral cavity caused localised sepsis and have most likely occurred following an explosive blast in the mouth. “This has resulted in excruciating pain and distress in the region and prevented the animal from taking food and water for nearly two weeks. Severe debility and weakness in turn resulted in the final collapse in water that led to drowning,” it said.
FIR against unidentified people over pregnant elephant’s death in Kerala
Drowning, followed by inhalation of water leading to lung failure was the immediate cause of death of the elephant, said the preliminary report prepared on May 28, a day after the elephant, estimated to be 15-year old, died in Velliyar River.
No bullet, snare or any other metallic or foreign object found in any part of the carcass, the report said. The elephant is suspected to have consumed a pineapple filled with powerful fire crackers which exploded in the animal’s mouth in the Silent Valley Forest.
The incident triggered a social media storm with scores voicing concern over the cruelty meted out to the animal. The state forest department has said there was no conclusive evidence that the injury to the elephant’s lower jaw was caused by a pineapple stuffed with crackers and it might be a possibility.
The postmortem, performed at Thiruvizhamkunnu Forest Station under the Mannarkad forest division, revealed that the elephant was pregnant.
“Inside pelvic cavity enlarged uterus with a nearly two months foetus”, it said. The report said extensive necrotic debris of several indistinguishable soft tissues, fully infested with maggots, were found inside the mouth. Also, distinct fracture and erosions of major portions of maxillary bones and medial portions of body of mandible (jaw bone) on both sides were also noticed. Externally, apart from the swollen appearance of lower jaw and skin wounds, there was no other major wound or injury of significance on any other part of the body, it said.
The elephant died in the Velliyar River with the incident triggering a national outrage, prompting Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to assert that stern action would be taken against the culprits. Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and BJP MP and former union minister Maneka Gandhi, among others, had voiced serious concern over the incident. One person was arrested on Friday in connection with the death of the elephant.