A domestic elephant had its tusk almost severed by some thieves while it was chained at a grazing ground in the forest in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak.
The incident happened on July 14 when the 20-year-old male elephant, Thoong Ngan, was grazing in the Yok Don National Park, according to Huynh Trung Luan, director of Dak Lak Elephant Conservation Center.
Mahout Y Vi Xien said that he had taken the elephant to the forest and chained it there.
According to Luan, the thieves might have used more chains to restrain the elephant before trying to saw off its right tusk.
“The tusk was almost cut off but the elephant might have fought back and chased the thieves away,” he said.
“The conservation center has coordinated with the National Park management to safely remove the damaged tusk to ensure the elephant’s health,” he said.
Police are investigating the case.
Dak Lak is home to the largest population of both domestic and wild elephants.
The number of domestic elephants, however, has shrunk from around 500 in the 1980s to fewer than 50. Most domestic elephants recently died to overwork when serving tourists and lack of food.
The number of wild elephants in Vietnam has also fallen from 2,000 in the 1980s to around 100 recently, according to the conservation group WWF.