Photographer's Note

Kerala - A bit a wilder aspect of Munnar region

Munnar is mainly known for the tea fields that surround the nearby hills as green carpets.
There are effectively a large number of tea plantations.
But there are also several lakes and forests.
It may be surprising that in this highly cultivated region there are still forests where wild elephants live.

All over India there are around 40.000 to 50.000 wild elephants.
In the state of Kerala the number is around 7.000, a number that is said to increase every year.

When the tuk tuk led me through the area, it seemed difficult to understand that there were wild elephants. We indeed drove through some forests but eventually there were so many tea plantations.

At one point the driver stopped at a lake where there were a lot of (Indian) tourists and the driver went to an ice cream stand. I asked him to wait for a while. A walk through the nearby tea fields seemed very interesting to me.

Part of the small road ran through a small forest where I found a strange warning sign of the Kerala Forest and Wildlife Department: ‘Warning! Elephant crossing zone’ (see picture in attachment).
The forest was surrounded on two sides by tea fields and on the third you had the lake.
The sign almost seemed like a joke. Where would elephants be able to live here? Furthermore, the road was also very narrow. If an elephant came through there, there was no place to step aside.

Back at the lake, I forgot about the elephants.
But a lot later en route in the tuk tuk we arrived at a place where several cars and tuk tuks had stopped along the road and a range forest officer signaled us to stop too. The man came to us and said ‘Two wild elephants’. Of course we went out of the tuk tuk and saw the two animals: a mother elephant and a younger and smaller one (other picture in the WS).

Both animals did not seem to care about the spectators. The range forest officer made sure everyone stood behind a hedgerow.
The elephants roamed the grassland at ease.

It remains a mystery to me that these colossal animals live in an area that for a big part has been converted into agricultural land …

Briefly recalling the warning sign:
It said the path was a crossing zone for elephants.
It wasn’t a place where they stayed. Wild elephants prefer to be on the move constantly and can cover 40 to 50 km on a day.

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4956 W: 17 N: 11893] (48038)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2019-01-04
  • Categories: Nature
  • Exposure: 1/21 seconds
  • Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
  • Date Submitted: 2019-08-09 11:18
Viewed: 440
Points: 50
  • None
Additional Photos by Paul VDV (PaulVDV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4956 W: 17 N: 11893] (48038)
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