When one speaks of Kerala wildlife, what comes to mind immediately is the elephant. Even when tamed, the elephant can cause fear. Particularly on the rare occasions when it gets irritated and runs amok.
Wild elephants still roam the forests of the mountain range to the west of Kerala. Just as I was writing this article, the TV was showing the capture of a wild elephant that was terrorizing the people of a village on the outskirts of a forest.
The dense forests of the mountains are home to other wildlife such as leopard, tiger, deer, bison, hog, monkeys and innumerable varieties of birds. Cobra, boa constrictor and other kinds of snake would also be found crawling among the leaves on the forest floor.
There are wildlife sanctuaries where the animals are protected and tourists are provided facilities to view them. At the Periyar wildlife sanctuary, you could watch the wild animals in the forest, including tiger and elephant, while riding a boat in the Periyar lake. At the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary at Thattekad, you could observe the birds that the famous ornithologist Salim Ali was interested in.
We would look at different kinds of wildlife and their sanctuaries in separate articles.
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