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Will Dak Lak have elephants in the future?

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According to the Elephant Conservation Center, in 1980 Dak Lak had over 1,000 domestic elephants, but the figure dropped to 100 in 2015.

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Dak Lak's people have been making every effort to protect the local herd of elephants


After two years of waiting, in October 2017, Ban Nang, the female elephant in Lak district, gave birth to a baby elephant but it had died in the womb. 

Huynh Trung Luan, director of the Dak Lak Elephant Conservation, said Pac On possibly died because the mother elephant was too old to give birth.

“The death of the baby elephant once more showed the difficulties in conserving elephants,” he said, adding that though the center’s officers made thorough preparations for Ban Nang’s labor, they could not save the elephant.

Dak Lak’s people have been spending big money and time, and making every effort to protect and develop the local herd of elephants. Since the Dak Lak Elephant Conservation Center doesn’t have modern facilities, its veterinary surgeons sometimes consult with foreign experts or invite Thai specialists to Vietnam to help elephants.

However, their great efforts were not always rewarded. 

A leader of the York Don National Park said in 1980s, Dak Lak had 550 wild elephants. In 2009-2013, about 120 elephants lived in the park. But today, there are only 60-65 wild elephants in the park.

“The increased deforestation and use of forestland for production purposes have narrowed the habitat for elephants, thus making it more difficult to look for food,” he explained. “More and more elephants have been killed just because they have tusks.”

Domestic elephants have met an even more tragic fate. In the 1980s, there were 500 elephants in Dak Lak. However, the number is on the decrease. In the first four months of 2015, five elephants died, including four domestic ones. 

“For a long time I have not seen baby or young elephants,” said Pham Van Thinh, a veterinarian at the Dak Lak Elephant Conservation Center. “Elephants die every year because of diseases.”

Thinh said that baby elephants did not appear because local people needed the elephants for their production and service activities.

“Elephant’s pregnancy period lasts two years. Locals need strong adult elephants to serve production and tourism. Therefore, they tend to prevent elephants’ crossing,” he explained.

Some analysts, while warning about the fertility of elephants, said if the situation cannot improve, the Central Highlands will not have elephants in 30 years.

Dak Lak provincial authorities and residents are implementing a project on conserving Vietnam elephants in 2013-2020 approved by PM in 2013. However, local newspapers reported that the implementation is meeting difficulties because of the lack of a workforce and money.




Source: VietNamNet

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