Forest rangers in Dong Nai Province on Tuesday said they are investigating into what caused the death of a baby elephant two days earlier.
A local forestry officer discovered the body of the 80-kilogram elephant in a pond around Monday noon.
Initial investigation has showed that the elephant, approximately 1 year old, must have drowned on Sunday night, while looking for food.
According to local authorities, the southern province is preserving a herd of elephants, but nine have died since 2009, leaving only a small group of 11.
The elephants mainly live inside the Cat Tien National Park. They frequently reach the fields of locals, searching for food.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment last year approved a VND74 billion (US$3.7 million) project to preserve the elephants in the area.