Cartoon by Satish Acharya
Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma on Thursday said it was heartbreaking to hear about the death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala, adding that no animal deserves to be treated with cruelty.
"We are savages. Are we not learning? To hear what happened to the elephant in Kerala was heartbreaking. No animal deserves to be treated with cruelty," Rohit said on his official Twitter handle.
On May 27, the 15-year-old pregnant elephant fell victim to an inhumane act after a pineapple filled with powerful firecrackers offered by a man exploded in her mouth when she chomped on it in Mallapuram. It suffered serious injuries on its tongue and mouth. Later she walked into a river and waited for three days as its life was slowly snuffed out.
Several sportspersons, including the likes of Virat Kohli, Saina Nehwal, Sunil Chhetri and others, have expressed shock and anguish over the incident.
"Appalled to hear about what happened in Kerala. Let's treat our animals with love and bring an end to these cowardly acts," Kohli tweeted.
Kohli appealed to treat animals with love and urged to stop violence against them. "Appalled to hear about what happened in Kerala. Let's treat our animals with love and bring an end to these cowardly acts," he tweeted.
India wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant expressed his anger too and demanded severe punishment for the accused. "Heartbroken, speechless, angry & shocked to read the news about the pregnant elephant in Kerala. How can anyone be so cruel. Hope the guilty are punished severely," Pant tweeted.
"This needs to stop," posted former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh on Instagram.
India's Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane said on Twitter: "We need to be a lot better in the way we treat these innocent creatures. Really ashamed of this cruel act and hope this makes everyone realize the importance of being kind towards animals and act like a human."
Former England batsman and animal activist Kevin Pietersen has expressed his 'disgust' over the inhuman incident.
"DISGUSTED with the images I've been sent from India overnight over the senseless brutality of this mummy elephant. Why would someone do this?!?! Just why?!?" Pietersen posted on Instagram with photos of the dastardly incident.
Star shuttler Saina Nehwal condemned the act by replying to People For Animals India's post on the brutality. "So sad to know this," Saina said.
Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri called the perpetrators of this as "monsters".
"She was a harmless, pregnant Elephant. That makes the people who did what they did, monsters and I hope so hard that they pay a price. We keep failing nature over and over again. Remind me how we're the more evolved species?" Chhetri tweeted.
The elephant had died on May 27 after she ate the pineapple stuffed with crackers and forest officials said that she died standing in river Velliyar after it suffered an injury in its lower jaw.
The elephant was seen standing in the river with her mouth and trunk in the water for some relief from the pain after the fruit exploded in her mouth.
Mannarkkad forest range officer on Wednesday said that a FIR has been lodged against unidentified people under relevant sections of Wild Life Protection Act over the incident.
The Kerala Forest department has launched a 'manhunt' for those responsible for the death of the elephant.
Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar also took to Twitter on Thursday and said: "Central government has taken a very serious note of the killing of an elephant in Mallapuram, Kerala. We will not leave any stone unturned to investigate properly and nab the culprit(s). This is not an Indian culture to feed fire crackers and kill."
The incident has attracted huge condemnation on social media, where various posts showed the mother elephant saying it was her fault to trust the human race, while the unborn child in her womb kept asking: "What is my fault, Ma?"