A wild elephant has found its way back to residential and farming areas in the southern province of Dong Nai after forest rangers sent the straying animal to a forest last week.
As soon as the male elephant turned up on Monday, forest rangers knew it was the same one, based on its asymmetrical tusks and half pink half gray ears.
Locals spotted the elephant standing near some trees by a road in Vinh Cuu District at around 6:45 a.m. They fled and alerted other passers-by.
Several farmers canceled their daily routine to avoid coming into contact with the animal.
Nguyen Van Khang, unfortunately, was not aware of the situation and kept driving his motorbike along the road.
The elephant reportedly walked out to the middle of the unpaved road. Khang was frightened, left his vehicle and ran away.
A large crowd gathered around ten meters away, which may have upset the elephant. It then lifted the motorbike, struck it on the ground and stepped on it.
The animal continued to destroy several trees after retreating far from the road. He left around noon.
The elephant stands by a road in Dong Nai Province. Photo credit: Nguyen Hieu/Tuoi Tre
Forest rangers said there is a severe lack of food in the forest around this time of year.
Pham Van Dong, a ranger, said the elephant was usually friendly and could have been angered by the curious crowd.
"He was only in the area to look for mangoes and cashew fruits, his favorite food.” Dong told Tuoi Tre Newspaper.
He advised locals to avoid traveling through the area early in the morning and go home early.
Some locals are now afraid that others in the same herd can turn up soon.
Local forest rangers transported him back to the wild last Tuesday.
The male adult elephant belongs to the endangered Asian elephant species. In Vietnam it has a "critically endangered" status.