In a horrific incident of animal cruelty, a pregnant elephant was fed firecrackers-stuffed pineapple in Kerala’s Malappuram, after which the poor animal suffered injures and died while standing in Velliyar river. Shocking netizens and celebrities alike, the outrage was joined by BJP MP and animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi who urged the governement for action. Also Read - Kerala Gold Smuggling Case: 'CM Pinarayi Vijayan Should Resign,' Says Congress Over Money Laundering Case

Speaking to ANI, Gandhi alleged, “It’s murder. Malappuram is famous for such incidents, it’s India’s most violent district. For instance, they throw poison on roads so that 300-400 birds and dogs die at one time. Kerala Government has not taken any action in Malappuram. It seems they are scared. An elephant is killed every 3 days in Kerala. We have less than 20,000 elephants left in India. They are rapidly declining.” Also Read - KEAM 2020 Admit Card Released: Download on Official Website at cee.kerala.gov.in | Here's How

Within few hours, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan finally broke his silence and told the news agency, “Strict action will be taken against those who are responsible for killing the pregnant elephant. Forest department is probing the case and the culprits will be brought to book.”

It was reported early on Wednesday that the Kerala Forest department has launched a ‘manhunt’ to track down the mastermind. In an interview with IANS, Samuel Pachuau, the Wildlife Warden of the Silent Valley National Park said, “We are quite certain to find the perpetrators of this crime, which is in no way acceptable at all. It was on the 23rd of last month we came to know about this incident, when the elephant was spotted near a water source outside the National park. We summoned a veterinarian and later on the 25th an elephant expert David Abraham came and examined and explained to us the bad situation.”

He added a shattering revelation saying, “We informed the Forest officials that the prognosis was bad and two days later the elephant died in a sitting posture in the water. The next day, when we conducted the post-mortem we found a nearly two month old foetus. From the uterus we could make out it was the first pregnancy of the elephant. That sight left many of us deeply sad and moved. Only when we conducted the autopsy, we could see that the upper and lower jaw, teeth and tongue of the elephant was badly damaged. The cause of death is due to aspiration of the lungs as it was filled with water. It was a sad day for many of us.”

Two sets of teams are reportedly probing this incident and we hope the culprits are found and given a similar merciless punishment!