Elephant dies after being burned in India

Posted by Imogen Searra on 28 January 2021

An Asian elephant was burned alive after it approached a private resort in the Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu in southern India.

A group of men threw burning rags at the animal and the ordeal was caught on video. The attack, which occurred on January 3, left the animal with a serious wound on its ear. Forest officials tranquilised the animal on January 19 to take it for treatment in a nearby camp but it succumbed to its injuries before arriving.

Asian elephants weigh between 2.25-5.5 tons.

Two men have been arrested and a third is wanted by police, who have launched a formal investigation into the attack. The men were arrested under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.

‘This is heartbreaking and cruel. The action we take against them should serve as a deterrent,’ said Nilgiris district collector J Innocent Divya, according to the Hindustan Times.

The animal had been monitored by forest officials since November 2020 as it had a serious back injury.

‘It (the elephant) had an injury on its back and it was roaming around in human habitation without going to the forest,’ said LCS Srikanth, deputy director of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in Masinagudi.

‘Outsiders like [people who run] resorts, factories, brick kilns have encroached on forest and tribal lands and they don’t understand animals,’ said S Muralidharan, founder of the Chennai-based Indian Centre for Animal Rights and Education (INCARE).

‘This is a criminal act and punishments under the Wild Life Act aren’t severe. The court should take suo motu cognisance of this; go out of the law books and pronounce stringent imprisonment so it serves as an example.’


Image: Unsplash

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