Wild life enthusiasts and tourists will be able to see elephants, tigers and other wild animals up close in the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR), as the Forest Department is set to begin a vehicle safari on a trial basis from November 5.
The largest wildlife sanctuary in the State, the STR was declared a tiger reserve in 2013, which covers a forest area of 1,411.60 sq. km. As per the guidelines of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the forest department studied the wildlife, its movement pattern, habitations and potential for eco-tourism in the past four years. The carrying capacity of animals in core and buffer zones were also worked out by using the footages from camera trappings.
The department has hired a 15-seater van and another 10-seater vehicle from the Salem Forest Department for the safari on Saturdays and Sundays.
The three-hour safari will be on Karachikorai - Thengumarahada, Dhimbam - Tipu Sultan Road, Kuyyanur Pirivu - Karikal Mokkai, Hassanur Huligerepatti, Talavadi Jeerahally Road or Yettugatti Betta and Germalam Shooting Lodge Road.
I. Anwardeen, Chief Conservator of Forests and Field Director of STR, told The Hindu, It is the first step in introducing eco-tourism activities at the four-year-old STR.
Those interested could contact the District Forest Officer, Sathyamangalam and Hassanur or the Sathyamangalam Tiger Foundation at 96009-12528.