Dak Lak (VNA) – There are only 60 domestic elephants andaround 100 wild ones alive in Vietnam, with most of them living in Dak Lak,Dong Nai and Nghe An provinces, it was reported at a conference on elephant conservationon January 11.
At the event in the Central Highland province of Dak Lak, the VietnamAdministration of Forestry said the elephants in the country are facing a highrisk of extinction. According to the agency, the natural habitat for elephantsis diminishing resulting in increasing clashes between the animals and humans,while poaching of elephants for their tusks has not been stopped. The domesticatedelephants are aging and not a single one of them has reproduced during the pastmany years.
To address the situation, the Vietnamese government has issued severalpolicies aimed at preserve the domestic elephant herd, including a master planfor 2013-2020.
Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Administration of Forestry CaoChi Cong said he hopes managers and experts will share experience and proposesolutions to protect and develop the elephant population in Vietnam.
Erin Ivory, an expert on animal care, urged measures to stop poachingand ensure the natural living habitat for elephants. For the domesticatedelephants, she suggested improving health care for them and limiting the use ofthe animals in tourism. The expert also proposed more efforts to help thembreed.
Representatives from international organisations and experts presentedtheir research on the management of elephants in captivity and the use ofelephants in tourism, among other issues.
In the framework of the conference, participants will tour an elephantrescue and breeding facility in Buon Don district, Dak Lak province.
Last December, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Vietnamesenature authorities kicked off an emergency project to protect the biggest herdof elephants in the country from extinction.
The project is being undertaken by WWF Vietnam and the Yok Don NationalPark in Dak Lak province, focusing on the enforcement of environmental law andmitigation of human and elephant conflicts.-VNA
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