Following the tragic death of the pregnant elephant in Kerala, Wildlife expert Praveen Bhargav expressed his distress regarding the inaction by the authorities to kick-start an investigation into the matter. On May 27, a pregnant elephant died in Silent Valley Forest in Kerala's Palakkad after a local allegedly fed her a pineapple stuffed with crackers. She died two weeks later, standing in river Velliyar, unable to eat or drink.
"The responsibility lies entirely with the state government and forest department. We have lost 7 days, a lot of evidence has gotten wiped out. It is a matter of serious concern, local officers would know which village is responsible for this. Kerala government is responsible for inaction in this part. Law and order is a state subject," said Praveen Bhargav.
Earlier in the day, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan alleged that people across the nation had used the death of the elephant as an opportunity to spread a 'hate campaign' against the state. "We are saddened by the fact some have used this tragedy to unleash a hate campaign. Lies built upon inaccurate descriptions and half-truths were employed to obliterate the truth. Some even tried to import bigotry into the narrative. Wrong priorities," tweeted Pinarayi Vijayan. He also assured of strict action against those responsible for the killing.
Speaking on the mass murder of elephants, Praveen Bhargav said, "Elephants face two threats-- it's killing in a conflict situation and hunting for ivory tusks. It also gets into illegal trade, second to narcotics. Strong law enforcement is called for. There is no such situation that local people are living harmoniously living with elephants. To minimise conflict, compensation or designing development projects with consideration should be paid attention to. Compensatory afforestation is not the solution it is important to consolidate elephant corridors."
He added that the need of the hour was to quickly launch and conclude the investigation and bring it to the courts. The forest department in Kerala is currently probing the case.