Once completed, the centre at the timber depot of the Forest Department on Kotagiri Road near Mettupalayam is expected to attract large number of visitors, especially students and children.
According to Forest Department officials, the indoor interpretation centre has been named ‘Vezham’, one of the many names for elephant in Tamil.
An elephant interpretation centre-cum-park by the Forest Department is taking shape near Mettupalayam in Coimbatore district.
Officials of Coimbatore Forest Division under the leadership of I. Anwardeen, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Coimbatore Circle), conceptualised the project on April 25.
Works started on April 28 and majority of the installations and paintings at the interpretation centre was completed by May 26.
According to Mr. Anwardeen, a few more elements that add value to the project were being added.
The installations, paintings and specimens displayed at the interpretation centre will help visitors understand types of elephants, characteristics of elephants, their role in the protection of the forest and ecology, the need to protect them and their role and references in literature and culture.
The team comprising District Forest Officer D. Venkatesh, Assistant Conservators of Forests C. Dinesh Kumar and M. Senthil Kumar have collected large number of photographs, specimens and fact sheets about elephants for the centre.
As the interpretation centre cum park is situated on Kotagiri road, tourists can visit it on the way to the Nilgiris or while returning from the hill station.
The centre can also generate revenue which the Department can use for conservation activities.
Source : The Hindu