VietNamNet Bridge – The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) is compiling the plan on protecting elephants in three provinces of Dak Lak, Nghe An and Dong Nai.The main point of the plan is that the State would provide financial support to local people, so that they can keep and develop elephants, according to chinhphu.vn.
Under the plan, chips would be attached to every elephant for easier watching and control. Fences would be installed to protect elephants in the conservation areas, while scientific measures would be applied for elephants to be reproduced which would help stop the decline in the number of elephants.
Scientists have rung the alarm bell over the sharp decline of the Asian elephant populations in Vietnam. According to CITES Vietnam (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) estimated that in 1995-2000, there were 100-150 elephant individuals living in 17 areas in Vietnam. Meanwhile, there are now only 70-130 individuals in 10 areas.
Lao dong newspaper has quoted scientists as saying that the biggest herd of wild elephants has been in the danger.
The sharp decline of wild animals has been attributed to the deforestation, which has led to the sharp decrease of the forest area, thus narrowing the habitat for elephants. People have been hunting elephants for tusks, killing elephants to take revenge for the human and elephant conflicts. Especially, people in the Central Highlands have the tradition of hunting elephants to break in.
The elephants kept at people’s houses have also decreased sharply in the number due to the hard working and the lack of nutrition. Elephants have been killed for tusks, bone and tail hair.
According to the MARD’s Nature Conservation Department, the human’s activities relating to the agricultural production has led to the disappearance, degrading of the habitat for elephants.
In an effort to protect wild elephant populations and home elephants, Vietnam has set up a legal framework on protecting elephants, focusing on preventing the decrease in the number of elephants, at least in the three most important areas, especially in Dak Lak.
Right after the elephants were brought back from Cambodia to the Yok Don National Park in Dak Lak province, the two wild elephants were killed.
Meanwhile, before leaving Dak Lak on August 24, Do Trong Kim, a senior official of MARD, who paid a visit to the Yok Don National Park to verify the deforestation as reported by local newspapers, affirmed that the situation had cooled down.
And just 30 hours after his leave, the Forest Ranger Unit No. 11 informed that two elephants were killed in the area put under the control of the unit.
The representative of the Yok Don National Park said in August, the park’s officers witnessed the appearance of a herd of 30 wild elephants. The elephants have been moving between Mondulkiri in Cambodia, Ea Sup district and Yok Don in Vietnam.
According to the research team of the Tay Nguyen University, the herd of elephants regularly migrate to marsh areas in Cambodia and return to Yok Don in rainy season, when they can find food and water.
The scientists said wild animals always move in groups, therefore, it was highly possible that the two elephants were killed when the flock of elephants returned to their home.
Scientists have many times urged to pay attention to protect elephants before it gets too late. However, no considerable progress has been made so far.