Splainer

Friday, June 5 2020

A group of friends going out for a lively evening of entertainment finished off with a curry is part and parcel of the British way of life. If you take that away you’re taking away the very essence of what going out for a curry means.

That’s Professor Monder Ram bemoaning the looming extinction of Britain’s hallowed institution: the curry house. Around 3,000 of the 9,000 Indian restaurants in the UK may never reopen after the lockdown. Drunk Brits will now have to look for a new source of greasy carbs to soak up all that alcohol. Illustration: Parth Savla

the big story

The death of an elephant in Kerala

TLDR: An elephant in Kerala ate a pineapple stuffed with firecrackers, and died a slow and painful death. What seemed at first to be a horrific act of cruelty has since revealed an entire economy built on killing wildlife—not just to protect farmland but to also trade in their meat.

 

Did someone feed her the pineapple?

No one knows exactly who did what to this elephant. But there have been a number of such incidents involving such crude explosives. One wildlife officer told Indian Express, “In the forest fringes, there have been reports of crackers and country-bombs being used to trap and kill pigs and other wild animals. It could be that the elephant accidentally ate it.” 

 

While a pineapple was used in this case, these kinds of explosives are usually wrapped in meat, and called ‘meat bombs’.

 

What’s a ‘meat bomb’?

Meat bombs are made using cheap gunpowder and gelatin sticks otherwise used to make firecrackers. They are wrapped in animal parts like intestines to attract the wild animals. And they are far cheaper and easier to acquire than guns—costing between Rs 500 and 1,000 per bomb.

 

What do they use these bombs for?

They are typically used by farmers to protect their farmland from foraging wild boars, elephants and other wildlife. For example, in Goa, they are used to hunt leopards, mouse deer and even monitor lizards. They are also used to kill wild boars to eat and/or sell their meat.

 

Wild boar meat is a thing?

 

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In today’s edition

  • Amazon aur Airtel ki jodi
  • Free Zoom has a privacy cost
  • Your chicken manchurian may soon be delivered by drones
  • Upcycling is the coolest part of ethical fashion
  • A brilliant guide to Covid-19 marketing phrases
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