Vietnam's small elephant population loses yet another juvenile

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Wild elephants in Dak Lak, central Vietnam

A wild elephant aged around three months has been found dead, possibly trampled by his own herd, in a national park in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak.

Huynh Trung Luan, director of the Dak Lak Elephant Conservation Center, told news website Dan Tri Sunday the animal was found by Yok Don park rangers during a patrol near a muddy lake.

Investigations suggested that the animal, weighing 60-70 kilograms, was trampled by larger members in his herd and stuck in the mud.

On March 18 locals had found another baby elephant dead, while last December rangers had found one dead near their station.

Dak Lak has the largest elephant population, both wild and domesticated, in Vietnam.

The wild population of between 80 and 100 faces an escalating threat of poaching and habitat loss, while the 50 domesticated ones are dying of overwork due to carrying tourists. A 63 year-old died in April and a 35-year-old in February.

Old age and the lack of large spaces for courtship have also prevented the domesticated animals from giving birth to young.

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