Experts emphasize elephant conservation

VietNamNet Bridge – Only around 100 wild elephants, and an additional 60 in captivity, remain in Viet Nam, with most living in Dak Lak, Dong Nai and Nghe An provinces, a conference on elephant conservation heard on Wednesday.


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Domesticated elephants, raised to entertain tourists, walk in Yok Don National Park in Dak Lak Province. The country now is home to only 100 wild elephants and 60 domesticated elephants. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

At the three-day event in the Central Highland province of Dak Lak, which ends on Friday, the Viet Nam Administration of Forestry said elephants in the country face a high risk of extinction. According to the agency, the natural habitat for elephants is diminishing; resulting in an increased number of clashes between the animals and humans, while the poaching of elephants for their tusks continues. The domesticated elephants are aging and not a single one has reproduced over the last few years.

To address the situation, the Vietnamese Government has issued several policies aimed at preserving the domestic elephant herd, including a master plan for 2013-2020.

Deputy Director General of the Viet Nam Administration of Forestry, Cao Chi Cong, said he hoped managers and experts would share their experiences and propose solutions to protect and develop the elephant population in Viet Nam.   

Erin Ivory, an expert on animal care, urged measures to stop poaching and ensure the natural living habitat for elephants. For the domesticated elephants, she suggested improving health care for them and limiting the use of the animals in tourism. The expert also proposed more efforts to help them breed.

Representatives from international organisations and experts presented their research on the management of elephants in captivity and the use of elephants in tourism, among other issues.

In the framework of the conference, participants will tour an elephant rescue and breeding facility in Buon Don District, Dak Lak Province.

Last December, the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF) and Vietnamese nature authorities kicked off an emergency project to protect the biggest herd of elephants in the country from extinction.

The project is being undertaken by WWF Vietnam and the Yok Don National Park in Dak Lak Province, focusing on the enforcement of environmental law and mitigation of human and elephant conflicts. 

related news

Vietnam seeks ways to protect elephants

Elephant-minders at Yok Don National Park work to preserve remaining herd

VNS

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