In India, a flaming tire was thrown at a bull elephant—setting him on fire and killing him—and two out of the three men reportedly involved in the act have been arrested. Orders have been issued to seal off the resort belonging to the accused while it’s investigated as a crime scene. The shocking incident was caught on camera and has many—including PETA India—calling for workshops on humane methods of protecting crops and properties and of preventing human-elephant conflicts from leading to injuries and deaths.
The act was an apparent attempt to turn the animal away from a resort area. The video above shows the burning rubber sticking to the elephant, lighting him on fire and causing him to trumpet loudly in distress and run away. Forest department officials found him—badly injured and bleeding from his ears—but he died before reaching a local treatment facility. Authorities identified three alleged perpetrators. Two were arrested, but the third is reportedly missing.
The tragedy occurred not because this elephant did anything wrong but because humans invaded his home.
In response to the attack, PETA India has called for not only justice but also a way of informing the public.
“We ask that the local forest department hold workshops on humane methods of crop protection. Residents must be made aware that they should call the forest department for help rather than taking matters concerning wild animals into their own hands,” PETA India CEO Dr. Manilal Valliyate said.
This isn’t the first time an elephant has been killed by fire or firecrackers. Less than a year ago, a pregnant elephant was killed after being purposely fed a pineapple stuffed with explosives. An image of her went viral, rightly sparking international outrage.
This simply shouldn’t have happened—whoever did this is HEARTLESS.
A pregnant elephant DIED after eating a pineapple filled with firecrackers. Imagine how scared she must have been when the fruit exploded.
The disrespect humans have for animals must end! https://t.co/dxPvAOyjqK
— PETA (@peta) June 4, 2020
Other elephants have been killed, too, after crude bombs exploded or firecrackers were set off, often in attempts to drive the animals away from crops or human habitats. But there are countless humane methods of protecting property and humans, such as installing fencing, using noisemakers, and planting chili peppers along perimeters. Officials must work to protect elephants in other ways, including by preserving their natural forest homes and banning circuses, roadside zoos, rides, and festivals that force elephants to perform.
Elephants, Like All Other Animals, Are Here With Us
Elephants are highly social animals who form strong, lasting bonds with their family members. They work together to solve problems and rely on the wisdom, judgment, and experience of their eldest relatives. When left in peace in their natural homes, they spend their days socializing, swimming, browsing, and playing. And just like all other individuals, they want and deserve to be free. So we’ve made it easy to take quick, effective action for elephants—click below to help ones in the U.S.: