Owner of Vietnam’s largest tamed elephant herd worries about elephant extinction

VietNamNet Bridge – The director of a travel firm, Mr. Dang Nang Long, resigned to return to his home village in Dak Lak Province to succeed his father in helping to conserve domestic elephants.

Growing up in a family that owns the biggest herd of tamed elephants in Dak Lak, which is known for the special job of taming wild elephants in Vietnam, Long, in Le Village in Lak District, Dak Lak Province, followed his father to the jungle to hunt elephants and then tame them when he was a boy. More than 30 years of taming elephants, Long’s family once had up to 12 elephants, the largest herd owned by a family in Dak Lak.

Long said previously, elephants were raised in all villages in Dak Lak. The poor villages also had at least one elephant, which was used to transport timber and agricultural products for all villagers. At that time, an elephant was equivalent to 20 male buffalos. Currently, as the number of tamed elephants has dropped sharply in the Central Highlands, the price for a tamed elephant is up to billions of VND (hundreds of USD).

The town of Lien Son in Lak District now has a total of 16 domestic elephants and seven of them (4 male, 3 female) belong to Long’s family. Long is known as the owner of the largest herd of domestic elephants in Vietnam today.

The biggest male elephant owned by Long is Y Khun (47 years old) and the smallest female elephant is Booc Kham (30 years old). Long is not only a friends of elephants, who can talk with them, but also a "physician" who can cure diseases.

Long said tamed elephants have suffered from a lot of diseases as the jungle has been increasingly devastated, water has been polluted, and the food sources rich in nutrients have seriously declined. Many elephants in his herd have tumors on their bodies. Long uses wild leaves to treat diseases of his elephants.

Each afternoon, Long takes his elephants to the forest around the Lak Lake to seek natural food. The next morning, he brings them back to the village to feed them bananas, sugarcane, and sugar ....

According to Long, the elephant is the great pride of people in the Central Highlands. Those who breed elephants must be good ones. "Every three months, elephant owners have to hold worshiping rite once. They also have to inform their elephants of every special thing happening to the family because elephants are considered family members. Anyone who buys an elephant or if his elephant gives birth has to slaughter a buffalo and hold rituals to inform their ancestors of the event.”

Long said in the past it was the greatest taboo to abuse elephants. However, the spiritual values are fading away among the youth. The herd of tamed elephants is reducing because of poaching, cutting tusks and chopping elephant tails.

Within 10 years, Long’s family lost six elephants (5 male and one female) because the elephants were too old or met with accidents. Over the past 10 years, despite his great efforts in creating an environment for elephants’ copulation, his elephants have not delivered any babies.

Long worries that the herd of tamed elephants in the Central Highland would disappear in the next 20 years. "The biggest worry now is that wild elephants are at risk of extinction. This means the loss of biodiversity and the disappearance of the specific species of the Central Highlands culture," Long said.

He said an urgent measure to preserve tamed elephants is needed to set up specialized forests of at least 50 hectares for domestic elephants, where the animal can find food and have the wild environment for copulation.



Cựu giám đốc thuần dưỡng voi rừng thành voi nhà
Cựu giám đốc thuần dưỡng voi rừng thành voi nhà
Cựu giám đốc thuần dưỡng voi rừng thành voi nhà
Cựu giám đốc thuần dưỡng voi rừng thành voi nhà
Cựu giám đốc thuần dưỡng voi rừng thành voi nhà
Cựu giám đốc thuần dưỡng voi rừng thành voi nhà
Cựu giám đốc thuần dưỡng voi rừng thành voi nhà

The rites to pray for good health for the elephant are held by Long’s family.

Cựu giám đốc thuần dưỡng voi rừng thành voi nhà

Rubbing alcohol onto the elephant’s forehead to pray for good health for the animal.

Cựu giám đốc thuần dưỡng voi rừng thành voi nhà
Cựu giám đốc thuần dưỡng voi rừng thành voi nhà

Rubbing pork blood on tusks to pray for good health for the elephant. 

Cựu giám đốc thuần dưỡng voi rừng thành voi nhà

Long’s elephants take tourists to the Lak Lake. 

Cựu giám đốc thuần dưỡng voi rừng thành voi nhà




 
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Translated by Linh Nhat

from Zing

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