New Delhi: Hours before the world observes World Environment Day, people across the world have expressed their outrage through a petition platform over inhumane killing of a pregnant elephant in Kerala.
In less than 24 hours, as many as 927 petitions have been filed on the petition website Change.org and over 13 lakh people have signed these demanding the perpetrators of this cruel act be punished.
"Perhaps a more important question to ask right now is why we hear news about so many voiceless deaths and not enough about prosecutions? The law in India does not give long prison sentences for wildlife crimes. A sense of fear should be spread amongst people who might become killers of these innocent living beings. Convictions for wildlife killing must receive rigorous sentencing with hefty fines," said Kamal Ganatra, a citizen of Oman, in his petition.
The petition has been supported by 5.6 lakh people in a day.
Thane resident Nikhil Suryawanshi, another petitioner on the platform, demanded that a murder charge be slapped against the perpetrators of the gruesome crime.
"I was deeply hurt and angry when I read about the pregnant elephant brutally killed in Kerala. As I wanted to do something about this and wanted the offenders to get punished, I shared my thoughts with my sister who is an advocate. She told me to create a petition on Change.org," said Suryawanshi, whose petition has been signed by over 2.30 lakh people.
Echoing similar sentiments, Bangalore-based Aparajita said in her petition that the incident broke her heart.
"It broke my heart...the innocent animal fell victim to an act of human cruelty. As she bit into the pineapple, it exploded in her mouth. We cannot let these voiceless animals suffer like this anymore. Strict action should be taken against the culprits," she wrote.
A petition by Meera Kant, seeking criminal charges against those who killed the pregnant elephant, has been signed by over three lakh people.
Some of these petitions have drawn social media support from celebrities including Shraddha Kapoor, Diana Penty, and Kapil Sharma. The number of petitions and the signatures supporting them are increasing by the second.
According to official figures presented by the Central government in the Parliament, 373 elephants died of unnatural causes, such as electrocution and poaching between 2015-2018.
People in the US, UK, France, and Australia, have started petitions on the issue.
The elephant had died in Palakkad district on May 27 after it ate a pineapple stuffed with crackers and forest officials said that it died standing in river Velliyar after it suffered an injury in its lower jaw.
The elephant was seen standing in the river with its mouth and trunk in the water for some relief from the pain after the explosive-filled fruit exploded in its mouth.