A baby elephant found dead in the southern province of Dong Nai on Thursday was very likely poisoned, a forensic expert said Friday.
The male elephant, weighing one ton, was found dead with its tongue sticking out, and tests found bleeding in its heart and liver.
They also found mango, manioc and jackfruit which were all fresh eaten in the three-year-old animal’s stomach, said the expert who wished to stay unnamed.
Samples have been sent to Ho Chi Minh City for further tests, he said.
This is the seventh elephant to be found dead of unknown reasons in Dong Nai this year. Since its body was found soon after death, it will help related agencies learn more, he added.
The carcasses of the other elephants were found only after they'd already disintegrated.
He said mango and jackfruit seeds were also found in the other elephants' stomachs.
The latest dead elephant was found some 100 meters away from the Vinh Cuu Nature and Heritage Reserve in Phu Ly Commune.
An official working in Dong Nai’s agriculture said local people in Ma Da Commune near the forest once threatened to poison elephants in the forest, if local agencies didn’t take proper steps to protect their fields from the elephants’ raids.