Vietnam province promises elephant owners $19,200 subsidy for every new calf

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Dak Lak Province in Vietnam's Central Highlands has decided to subsidize elephant breeding in captivity, and will provide owners VND400 million (US$19,200) for every calf their elephants give birth to.

The People's Council, the legislative unit of the province with the largest elephant population in the country, said owners would get VND300,000 ($19.20) per day during the ten initial months a female elephant is pregnant, and VND600,000 subsequently until the calf is six months old.

The normal gestation period for the giant animal is 28 months.

The owners will also get VND600,000 per day during the month the male elephant is in must during the rutting season.

Besides, farmers attacked by their elephants will be treated for free.

Vu Van Dong, deputy director of the province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the new policy is a "very practical" one to protect elephants.

The number of domesticated elephants has been stuck at around 50 since few of them have given birth due to several factors including old age, overwork, and the lack of large spaces for making love.

The 80 to 100 wild elephants in the province face an escalating threat of poaching and habitat loss at the same time.

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