Elephant Herd Rejects Baby Rescued in Central Vietnam


Thanh Nien News

Date Published

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Conservationists in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak are continuing to try and reintroduce a baby elephant they rescued from a well back to its herd despite several failed attempts.

Pham Van Lang, deputy director of the Dak Lak Elephant Conservation Center, told Zing News that the two-month old calf remains at the center as they were seeking more advice from experts and higher authorities.

On March 28 the male baby was rescued after it felt into a five-meter deep well, possibly while looking for water.

Local officials believe it belongs to a herd of more than 10 elephants that were heading for a nearby lake for water.

“The center’s staff feed him 1.5 liters of milk every two hours. At night he only sleeps if they caressed him,” Lang said.

Once the staff followed the herd and left the calf in its vicinity, but animals did not take him in.
Recently a group including some foreign conservationists attempted to reintroduce him to the herd but his mother still rejected him.

“Maybe his mother rejected him because he carries odors because of contact with humans,” Lang said.

The baby belongs to one of the last few remaining herds in Dak Lak, which is home to the largest wild elephant population in Vietnam with about 60 individuals.

The number of wild elephants in Vietnam has fallen from 2,000 in the 1980s to less than 100 now, mostly due to poaching and habitat loss.