Two elephants in the central highlands resort town of Da Lat had their tails illegally cut Tuesday in the third such case reported in the province over the past four months.
According to forest rangers in Lam Dong Province, where the town is located, the elephants were attacked at around 3 a.m. when they were in the Prenn Falls tourism area.
They are two of three elephants that the area's management board hired from Phan Dac Mau Dai in Duc Trong District three years ago.
Dai said usually the animals would be brought to the area in the morning and back to his house some 800 meters away at night, but he had let them free in the area recently as they were in their reproductive season.
"Losing their tails won't affect their life, if the wounds are treated properly, but it would greatly affect their beauty," Dai said, adding that the cut tail sections were about 30 centimeters long each.
Lam Dong's forest rangers said local agencies had recently arrested four people on suspicion of cutting elephant tails.
Central highlands provinces lately have reported many cases where elephants' tails have been cut because of beliefs that hairs from the pachyderms' tails bring good luck in love and business.
A tail hair can be sold for up to VND400,000 (US$20.52), local reports say.