Elephants at Hanoi zoo unchained after electric fence replacement

By Viet An   August 18, 2023 | 01:19 am PT
Elephants at Hanoi zoo unchained after electric fence replacement
An elephant is free to roam inside its enclosure at the Hanoi zoo. Photo by VnExpress/Viet An
Two elephants at the Hanoi Zoo have been unchained after electric fences have been replaced anew.

Le Si Dung, general director of the Hanoi Zoological Garden company, on Thursday said the two elephants of the zoo have been unchained and are now free to roam within their enclosure.

"We just replaced the electric fences, so they can now be unchained," he said.

The old electric fences have been installed since 2015, but were later damaged.

Dung said there used to be three elephants in the enclosure, but one died in 2022 due to old age. The other two elephants are kept in the same enclosure, but are separated by electric fences as they do not belong to the same herd or origin.

Three people take care of the elephants every day. The animals are showered, fed and their enclosure is cleaned in the morning, Dung said.

Pham Ngoc Anh, head of the elephant-raising team at the Hanoi Zoo, said the elephants often don’t want to eat on days when the weather changes.

"As the elephants are old and their emotions are erratic, they had to be chained with metal chains 10 m long," he said, adding that they have been chained for the last six months.

Last week, animal protection group Animals Asia sent a document to the Hanoi People’s Committee to propose bringing the elephants to the Yok Don national park in Dak Lak. The group said the enclosure at the zoo is too narrow and does not satisfy the animals’ living standards.

A representative of the zoo said the proposal is not appropriate as the elephants are old, and they may die during their transportation to Dak Lak or when released back into the wild.

The Hanoi Zoo, also known as the Thu Le Park, was built in 1975 in Ba Dinh District, spanning 18.7 ha. Around 600 animals from 88 species live in the zoo.

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