WHY SHOULD ONLY JUMBOS MATTER?
Down To Earth|July 01, 2020
THE OUTRAGE OVER THE DEATH OF A PREGNANT ELEPHANT IN KERALA HIGHLIGHTS OUR SKEWED NOTION OF BIODIVERSITY AND ITS CONSERVATION
RAJKAMAL GOSWAMI

THE DEATH of a pregnant elephant in Palakkad district of Kerala, close to the Silent Valley National Park, on May 27 after eating a pineapple stuffed with explosives, has evoked an anger and grief rarely witnessed in the country. Forest officer Mohan Krishnan, whose emotional eulogy triggered the widespread outrage, blamed some “selfish men” for its death instead of the incompetence of his department, which could not tranquilise and treat the injured elephant despite locating it on May 23. Like most other outrages over conservation-related issues, the noise around this incident too emerged from urban centres, with many blaming the farmers who had laid the explosive snare to protect their farms from cropraiders. Surprisingly, around the same time when two large beehives of Apis dorsata (Indian Rock Bee) were removed from the fifth floor of our apartment building in Bengaluru, there was no outrage. The preemptive strike obliterated the hives, built, nurtured and used by over 250,000 bees over several months. Tens of thousands of the bees killed were in their larval stage, akin to the elephant foetus.

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