Dead elephant found in Dak Lak

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Dak Lak Province authorities have incinerated the body of a baby elephant found in Yok Don National Park last Wednesday.


Nguyen Con, Yok Don park ranger, said they found the decomposed elephant, weighing around 100 kilograms, at the section No. 290.


He said it was a newborn elephant but they couldn't identify the cause of the death.


Con said several herds of wild elephants have recently been near the residential areas in Buon Don District, threatening the crops and safety of local residents.


Vietnam had around 2,000 elephants in the mid-90s but the number has plunged to between 70 and 100 because of relentless poaching and deforestation, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.


Nguyen Van Truong, director of Yok Don National Park, said that there have been 219 cases of illegal deforestation within the first four months this year, an increase of 51 more cases than the same period last year.


At a meeting with Dak Lak People's Committee last month, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development said he was "sure that there have been wrongdoings and collusions" between officials in charge and poachers.


Lu Ngoc Cu, chairman of Dak Lak People's Committee, said that many residents had reported directly to him about ongoing timber poaching. They even tipped him on which forces to bust, because they assumed that some local officials may have colluded with the poachers.


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