Wild elephant kills cattle, damages crops in northern Vietnam

By Phuong Son   September 15, 2016 | 10:43 am GMT+7

Local authorities hope to push the elephant toward a conservation area.

A wild elephant killed several animals and damaged crops in the northern mountains of Son La Province.

Over the last two years, the elephant has claimed one buffalo, five cows and 1.57 hectares of rice and 23.55 hectares of corn and cassava in Song Ma District. A district official claimed the lone elephant had done over VND430 million ($19,040) in damage to the local economy - VND179 million in this year alone.

District authorities in Song Ma advised locals to take care not to injure the animal in their efforts to drive it away. They also called on provincial and central government authorities to drive the animal toward a conservation area.

A group of wild elephants seen in Anh Son District, Nghe An Province in March, 2014. Photo by Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper

A group of wild elephants in Anh Son District, Nghe An Province in March, 2014. Photo by Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper

The number of elephants in Vietnam decreased sharply in recent years due to deforestation and poaching; the total population fell from roughly 1,000 in the mid-1980s to about 120 in 2014, according to statistics presented at a conference last year. 

In August, the World Wildlife Fund described small herds of wild elephants scattered throughout the country. The central province of Dak Lak contains between 60 and 65, according to those numbers; Dong Nai Province (which borders Ho Chi Minh City) allegedly has 14. The north-central province of Nghe An contains between 10 and 11.

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