Environment
Starving elephants go on rampage
  • | nld, dtinews.vn | April 10, 2014 03:35 PM
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Lack of food has caused wild elephants in Nghe An Province to trample through a number of villages recently.

 
 Elephants trample village in Phuc Son Commune

Nghe An is one of three provinces with the largest population of wild elephants in Vietnam. Still, the species is on the brink of extinction, with only about 17 elephants in the province.

In 2011, a small herd of elephants killed a villager in Luc Da Commune when the man tried to chase them away. In 2013, the elephants destroyed crops in Phuc Son Commune and killed a villager who crossed their path. In March six elephants were foraging in Cao Veu 3 Village and destroyed 10ha of sugarcane and other crops.

Local people said more and more elephants have stampeded because forestland is decreasing, causing food shortages.

Nguyen Huu Minh, chairman of Phuc Son Commune People's Committee said, "We have transferred 4,000 ha of forestland to a company for a rubber plantation. This area had bamboo and banana trees, which provide food of the elephants. Without a food source, the elephants are beginning to come into villages."

The elephants are also threatened by poachers. There are now three herds living in Nghe An Province. According to the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources' reports on elephants in Pu Mat National Park, since 1995 at least nine elephants were shot or killed by dynamite.

The people of Phuc Son used dynamite to kill three elephants when they stampede the village in 1996. A few years later, two elephants were found dead without their tusks. Another elephant was killed for its tusks in 2011. The director of Pu Mat National Park said the elephants are still reproducing, but without proper protection mature elephants will continue to be killed. 

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