In another suspected case of brutality on an animal, a five-year-old elephant, which was found with a fractured jaw, died in a forest in India's southern state of Kerala last night.
This incident happened barely a month after a pregnant pachyderm's death sparked an outcry in the country and social media all across the world.
In the latest incident, forest officials found the animal, which was unable to eat, at Veetikkundu in Agali forest range on Thursday. Weak and hurting, it died last night, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wild Life) and Chief Wildlife Warden Surendra Kumar said today.
He said it is suspected that the elephant could have bitten into a cracker-filled coconut or some other fruit.
"There are a few possibilities that could have led to the animal's death. There were injuries on the elephant's mouth and it could be due to the animal consuming a cracker-filled fruit. It also had a tumour in its stomach and was also suffering from pneumonia," Kumar said.
The animal's post-mortem was conducted this morning, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
Arun Sakaria, Chief Forest Veterinary Officer, said, "The animal had a fractured mandible (jawbone), had a split tongue and was suffering from pneumonia. It also had a tumour in the abdomen."
"We have collected samples and sent them in for forensic tests. Samples have also been submitted for a toxicology test," he said.
On May 27, a 15-year-old pregnant wild elephant in the Silent Valley forest fell victim to an act of human brutality when she consumed a fruit-filled with crackers, which exploded in her mouth -- she was photographed in her dying moments as she sought refuge in a river for temporary relief.