Elephants or Wild Boars, Can We Just Stop Trapping Animals with Explosive-Laden Fruits?


Elephants or Wild Boars, Can We Just Stop Trapping Animals with Explosive-Laden Fruits?

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

The news of the death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala was heart-breaking, because it was the direct result of man meddling with nature. The elephant had eaten a pineapple that was filled with firecrackers, which then burst, causing her incredible pain before she eventually succumbed to her wounds. While initially, the media coverage of the incident made it appear like an exceptionally barbaric instance of animal cruelty, the truth has come out that the matter is slightly more complicated than just people seeking to cause animal suffering.

The truth is that the elephant had strayed into a trap that was intended for wild boars. Boars are a chronic problem for farmers in Kerala, and indeed, in whichever state or country their territory overlaps with human settlements, because they tend to destroy crops in their search for food. To thwart them, Indian farmers have come up with inhuman methods like the explosive-laced traps that claimed the elephant’s life.

In Kerala, using such explosive-laced traps to get rid of the wild boars is a common practice. However, the death of the elephant has brought fresh scrutiny to this method, as whether the intended target is an elephant or a wild boar, it is an inhumane method of dealing with wildlife. A fresh debate has been sparked on how to control the problem of wild boars, with the discussion even making its way to news channels.

This is not the first time that these explosive traps have claimed the life of an elephant in Kerala. Once the news of the pregnant elephant’s death began to gain traction in the media, reports emerged of another similar case, where a young female elephant also fell prey to one such trap. Despite efforts by forest department officials, she died after suffering for several days.

The killing of the Kerala elephant has created a lot of outrage with Union Minister Prakash Javdekar promising to investigate the case thoroughly.

India has a wealth of wildlife living within its borders. Unfortunately, there appears to be very little being done to protect them from poachers and traps, leading to tragic incidents like these.