Kollam: Even as the brutal killing of a pregnant wild elephant in Kerala led to widespread condemnation, a similar incident has come to light in Kollam district, where a young female elephant died of injuries in her mouth, a month ago.

A pregnant wild elephant in Silent Valley Forest had fallen victim to an act of human cruelty on May 27 after a pineapple filled with powerful crackers offered by a man exploded in her mouth when she chomped on it.

A top forest officer told PTI that another female elephant had met a similar fate in April in Pathanapuram forest range area under Punalur division in Kollam district.

The officer said the elephant was found in a serious condition from the fringe areas of the forests in Pathanapuram by forest officials in the month of April.

"The pachyderm was found alienated from the herd of elephants. Its jaw was broken and it was unable to eat," the senior officer told PTI.

"It was very weak. When the forest officials approached, the elephant ran into the forest and joined the herd of elephants waiting there. But the next day, the elephant was again found alienated from its herd. Proper treatment was given but unfortunately it succumbed to its wounds," he said.

Another official said an investigation has been launched into the incident.

"It is suspected that the elephant bit a food item filled with crackers and it exploded in her mouth. We are waiting for the post-mortem report," the officer, who did not wish to be identified, said.