Man hands over elephant to conservation center, receives $29,800

By Tran Hoa   January 11, 2023 | 12:26 am PT
Man hands over elephant to conservation center, receives $29,800
People ride on Y Khun the elephant (L) on the Lak Lake of Dak Lak Province at the end of 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Oanh
A man in Dak Lak Province in the Central Highlands handed an elephant over to an animal rescue center and was given VND700 million ($29,852) as support money.

Y Khun (which means "lucky") is a 40-year-old elephant that's been raised by Dang Van Long's family in Dak Lak's Lak District for tourism purposes for years, Tran Xuan Phuoc, director of the Dak Lak Elephant Conservation Center, said Tuesday.

Over the past two years under the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Long brought Y Khun to the jungle to raise him in nature. However, as natural forest coverage gradually decreased and food became more scarce, the family decided to give Y Khun to the conservation center. In return, the family received VND700 million as support.

Y Khun is the 8th elephant to be rescued by the center as part of a cooperation program between Dak Lak authorities and the Hong Kong-based Animals Asia Foundation (AAF). Through the funds provided by AAF, Dak Lak authorities have agreed to spend VND55 billion starting in 2022 to support elephant owners and care centers in its efforts to end elephant riding for tourism.

Over the past several years, elephant riding has affected the health, lifespan and population of elephants in the area. Statistics by the Dak Lak Elephant Conservation Center revealed that there are around 37 elephants being raised by humans with 80-100 elephants living in the wild in Dak Lak, a 90% drop in their population compared to in 1980.

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