Wilson, of Edavanna, Malappuram, a rubber tapper at Ambalapara, reportedly told forest officials that he had helped prepare and set up the snare of the coconut containing explosives and that it was meant to kill wild boars that destroy crops in farms adjoining the forest.
Two other persons, a father and son, owners of a plantation in the area and suspected of being involved in the crime, are absconding, according to officials investigating the case.
Wilson was also taken to the shed where the explosive was made as part of the process of collecting evidence.
Department officials said they have also received information of the practice of capturing wild boars and other small animals for meat in these areas using explosive snares. This matter is also being investigated, they said.
Meant for elephant: Doctor
Meanwhile, a veterinary doctor, who did not want to be named, said the snare was set to specifically kill the elephant. “Before being stuffed into the coconut (undakopra) the explosive was coated with an extract made from jaggery. The smell of jaggery and coconut could have attracted the animals. We suspect that they targeted the respective elephant or any other that destroyed their farmland,” a doctor said.
“We believe the accused got expert assistance in making the explosive. Normally coconut stuffed with explosive is not used to target wild boars,” he said.
The primary postmortem report showed that the animal wasn’t able to consume any food or water in the weeks leading to her death. The autopsy was conducted by a team led by assistant forest veterinary officer Dr David Abraham.
“Drowning, followed by inhalation of water leading to lung failure, is the immediate cause of death of the elephant. The major and incapacitating wounds and injuries in oral cavity caused localized sepsis and have most likely occurred following an explosive blast in the mouth. This has resulted in excruciating pain and distress in the region 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,” the report said.
The report also stated that no bullet, snare or any other metallic or foreign object was found in any part of the carcass during the autopsy. It estimated the elephant to be nearly 15-year-old.
In Video:First arrest in elephant killing case in Kerala