Former England batsman and animal activist Kevin Pietersen has expressed his 'disgust' over the inhuman incident where a pregnant elephant was fed pineapple stuffed with firecrackers in Kerala.
"DISGUSTED with the images I've been sent from India overnight over the senseless brutality of this mummy elephant. Why would someone do this?!?! Just why?!?" Pietersen posted on Instagram with photos of the dastardly incident.
The brutal incident of animal abuse took place in Kerala's Palakkad district, which resulted in the death of the elephant while standing in the river.
A Kerala forest department team probing the killing of a pregnant elephant is learnt to have taken two persons into custody.
According to veterinarians who treated the 15-year-old pregnant elephant, some miscreants while chasing away the elephants who occasionally stray into the agricultural land had kept firecrackers inside a pineapple.
When the elephant started eating it, the crackers burst, seriously injuring its upper and lower jaw and tongue.
India star opener and limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma said he cannot believe where humanity is headed.
"I can't believe where humanity is headed. How could someone murder an innocent, harmless, beautiful creature like this in cold blood. This needs to be dealt with in the harshest possible manner. To make this world a better place we need compassion but we also need accountability for our actions," Rohit said in an Instagram post.
"This needs to stop," posted former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh on Instagram.
India's Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane said on Twitter: "We need to be a lot better in the way we treat these innocent creatures. Really ashamed of this cruel act and hope this makes everyone realize the importance of being kind towards animals and act like a human."
On Wednesday, Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli was among several sportspersons who took to social media to express shock over the incident.
"Appalled to hear about what happened in Kerala. Let's treat our animals with love and bring an end to these cowardly acts," Kohli said in a tweet from his Twitter handle.
Star shuttler Saina Nehwal condemned the act by replying to People For Animals India's post on the brutality. "So sad to know this," Saina said.
Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri called the perpetrators of this as "monsters".
"She was a harmless, pregnant Elephant. That makes the people who did what they did, monsters and I hope so hard that they pay a price. We keep failing nature over and over again. Remind me how we're the more evolved species?" Chhetri tweeted.