Amirthi zoo to welcome visitors from today, Yelagiri set to reopen on Sunday

Safety norms will be enforced to prevent spread of COVID-19, say officials

Tourists hotspots along the Eastern Ghats on Jawadhu Hills, especially the Amirthi Zoological Park on the Vellore-Tiruvannamalai border and Yelagiri in the neighbouring Tirupattur district, are set to reopen this week. The Amirthi zoo will be opened for visitors from Wednesday whereas, Yelagiri will be open from Sunday after the renovation of facilities.

This comes after the State government gave its nod to reopen tourist spots after putting in place necessary Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to ensure the safety of visitors.

At Amirthi zoo, teams were formed to clean the visitors’ area and animal enclosures within the zoo premises. The field work by these teams are monitored by Forest Range Officer S. Murugan. “We are keeping in place all COVID-19 safety norms in place to ensure safety of visitors and animals. Once we get the SOPs, we will open the zoo for visitors,” Prince Kumar, District Forest Officer, Vellore Division, told The Hindu. Formed in 1967 and spread over 25 hectares along the northern part of Jawadhu Hills, the Amirthi Zoo has 190 animals, including birds, snakes, crocodiles and star tortoises.

Yelagiri hill station is also getting spruced up with Tirupattur Collector Amar Kushwaha overseeing the restoration work. Boat houses are being readied for visitors.

“Once the security audit is done, the spots will be open for visitors,” Mr. Kushwaha said.

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