The pregnant elephant, which died after in India's Kerala after reportedly eating a crackers-stuffed pineapple, suffered major wounds in its oral cavity and starved for two weeks before dying, a post-mortem report made public today said.
It is due to the blast that the animal could not eat for so long leading to her collapse in a river where she drowned, said the report which examined the sufferings of the 15-year-old elephant following the explosion.
The report came out on a day after a person was apprehended in the first arrest made jointly by Kerala police and forest department's criminal investigation team in connection with the elephant's death on May 27.
The team is on the look-out for two more persons.
The post-mortem report said, "the major and incapacitating wounds and injuries in oral cavity caused localised sepsis and have most likely occurred following an explosive blast in the mouth.
"This has resulted in excruciating pain and distress and prevented the animal from taking food and water for nearly two weeks. Severe debility and weakness, in turn, resulted in the final collapse in water that led to drowning," according to the report.
Drowning, followed by inhalation of water leading to lung failure was the immediate cause of death of the elephant, said the report prepared on May 28, a day after the elephant died in Velliyar River.
"No bullet, snare or any other metallic or foreign object found in any part of the carcass," the report said.
The post-mortem, performed at Thiruvizhamkunnu Forest Station under Mannarkad forest division, shows the elephant was two-month pregnant.
The report said, "extensive necrotic debris of several indistinguishable soft tissues, fully infested with maggots, were found inside the mouth. Also, distinct fracture and erosions of major portions of maxillary bones and medial portion of the mandible (jaw bone) on both sides were also noticed.
"Externally, apart from the swollen appearance of lower jaw and skin wounds, there was no other major wound or injury of significance on any other part of the body."