Seethathodu (Pathanamthitta): The Kerala Forest Department has decided to intensify inspections and introduce restrictions on tourists along the Gavi route, following numerous complaints regarding visitors provoking and even posing a threat to wildlife.
Visuals of a group of tourists in a car scaring a herd of five elephants from a road near Gavi were circulated widely on social media recently.
In the video, the elephants are seen charging at the car. However, the vehicle is still driven towards the animals, which suddenly move into the forest trumpeting loudly.
“We have started an investigation into the incident. The passengers in the car were lucky that the elephants did not attack them,” said Goodrical Range Officer M Mani.
Forest Department officials allow vehicles of tourists into the forest only after giving strict instructions. A pass is issued for the purpose along with the advice to drive very cautiously. Patrolling teams of the Forest Department and other officials also frequently travel along the road. However, once inside the forest, the tourists have to take care of their own safety most of the time.
Any lapse on the part of visitors in following the advice of Forest Department officers would invite danger. The instructions include driving along the main road only and not venturing into the forest; not to stroll into the forest and stopping the vehicle only at the designated spots.