After the death of a pregnant wild elephant last month, the Kerala Forest department, which was probing the death of another wild elephant which took place in the forest areas at Pathanapuram in Kollam district, arrested three people on Wednesday for causing the death of a 10-year-old wild elephant in April, using fire crackers.
Fire crackers are placed in fruits and coconuts and then fed to the animals to kill them.
This method of placing high-end crackers is adopted mostly to trap wild boars and pigs which are found in the forests for their meat. The moment these animals start chewing these cracker laden fruits or coconuts, they explode and the heads of the animals get blown away.
Those who do this take away the meat and then sold to friends and close aides. At times, during such exercise, wild elephants unknowingly consume this and by now there have been two cases, where these elephants have died.
According to a top Forest official, three people who are directly involved in the Pathanapuram incident have been arrested.
“We had formed a special team consisting the police and forest officials and ever since this incident came to our notice after the wild elephant died, this team was on the prowl,” said the forest official.
“The special team first tracked the movement of this particular wild elephant and then was after a few people. Their movement and all other things were closely monitored and finally they were tracked down and their arrest was made,” said the forest official. The official pointed out that overall six people were arrested, but the other three have been arrested for hunting wild animals and were not involved in placing the fire cracker and causing the death of the wild elephant.
Even though this incident took place in April and failed to make big headlines in the media, it was only after the incident that took place in May on the edge of the Silent Valley forests in Palakkad, where a pregnant 15-year-old wild elephant suffered serious facial injuries and later died that it came to the limelight.