D. Radhakrishnan

“It is dangerous to stop vehicles near elephant herd”

Udhagamandalam: Questionable behaviour by many of the people, particularly tourists, passing through the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve has become a major source of concern to the district administration, according to the Nilgiris Collector Anandrao V. Patil.

Instances of tourists provoking wild animals, particularly elephants, were on the rise, he told The Hindu here on Wednesday.

Since it was feared that it would lead to an escalation in the man-wild animal conflict and expose visitors to considerable risk the administration has decided to caution the tourists.

Stating that over enthusiasm and lack of awareness about animal behaviour were contributory factors, he said that the rules of the reserve should not be violated.

The Wildlife Warden, Rakesh Kumar Dogra, said that since the reserve was now closed to tackle dry conditions the animals were freely moving about and many of them were frequently criss-crossing the highways, which sliced through the forests.

Pointing out that it was extremely dangerous to stop vehicles near elephant herd, he said that patrolling by forest guards has been intensified.

The process of erecting warning boards along the roads was now on. Though the reserve has received good rain, its reopening would be considered only when the situation becomes conducive for permitting visitors.