Miles away from his hunting ground, a memorial is being planned for the crocodile man. A park, named after Australian Steve Irwin, will be set up in Neyyar on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram to rear crocodiles.
"The great entertainer and conservationist won our hearts. The distance between the two countries should not stand in the way of commemorating his legacy," state forest minister Binoy Viswom said at the valedictory function of the fourth world congress on mountain ungulates or hoofed mammals in Munnar on Saturday.
"He lived his life educating us on environmental issues. It is our duty to pay tribute to the great adventurer," the minister said.
The park, home to mugger crocodiles and other rare flora and fauna, will also be renovated. "We have many plans. A world class crocodile research centre will come up here gradually," the minister said. A formal announcement would be made in the first week of October. Irwin died on September 4 when he was fatally wounded by a stingray while filming an underwater scene off Australia's Great Barrier Reef for a programme that was to feature his daughter, Bindi.
"This a small endeavour in keeping his message alive,” chief wildlife warden V Gopinath told the Hindustan Times.