Kochi: Heavy rains played spoilsport during Prince Charles visit to the Elephant corridor in Vazhachal Forest range in Thrissur district Tuesday.
The Prince was to spend about 30 minutes at the elephant corridor, but due to the rains, he could be there only for 10 minutes, Forest Department sources told PTI.
He came out of his vehicle using an umbrella and enjoyed the forests and the heavy showers, the sources said. He was to take a walk on the river bank of the Chalakudy river at
Vazhachal, but that had to be abandoned due to the rains.
Prince Charles was to take a first hand view of the elephant corridor, a 2,200 acre strip of land within the largest stronghold of Asian elephants in the world at Vazhachal forest range and see the measures being taken to help elephant conservation. He was also to visit a tribal colony and meet over 20 members.
Due to the rains, however, this was abandoned and the Prince met members of the tribal community at the Inspection bungalow along with local community members, animal, forestry conservation workers and WWF outreach workers and discussed the steps being taken to help wildlife conservation.
For Mary, a watcher at the Silent Valley forests for last 26 years and who has a wide knowledge of flora and fauna, it was an `unforgettable` experience meeting the Prince.
Besides Mary, others who got the opportunity to interact with Price Charles included Kannan, a watcher with the Periyar Tiger Reserve, Balapandi from Tenkasi in Tamil Nadu who has wide knowledge of birds, Vava Suresh, a snake catcher, and Guruvayurappan, project officer of Wild life Protection Society of India for southern states.
"The Prince spent nearly half an hour and asked us in detail about each of of our works. He wanted to know about the elephant tusks trade being carried out by countries like China and Vietnam," Guruvayurappan said.
The Royal visitor was also surprised on hearing that Guruvayurappan has been walking barefoot inside and outside the forest for the past 23 years.
Guruvayurappan also informed Prince Charles about the work done by Wild life Protection Society of India to investigate wildlife trade.
"We told him that we have identified the trade routes from India through Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkatta and Thiruvananthapuram from Kerala," he said.
The Royal visitor also wanted to know about forest conservation in Kerala and even insisted to be photographed with them, he said.
Prince Charles also saw the famous Vazhachal waterfalls.
The Prince and Dutchess later left for Kumarakkom lake resort in neighboring Kottayam district.