Authorities in Dong Nai Province are struggling to prevent ten wild elephants from what have become daily visits to a commune, damaging crops and threatening the safety of residents.
The elephants have been arriving between midnight and dawn at Thanh Son Commune in Dinh Quan District, located near the Dong Nai Natural Conservation Area, for more than 10 days.
Residents said the animals search for food and seriously damaging their banana, corn, cassava and tangerine crops.
Some elephants have even damaged homes and locals have had to stay awake from midnight until 5 a.m. in attempts to scare them away.
According to the Dong Nai park rangers, this is the most aggressive elephant herd to roam free of the conversation area.
In February, wild elephants damaged crops in the adjacent Vinh Cuu District.
Last year, elephants came to Vinh Cuu in search of food, injuring two locals.
According to Tran Van Mui, director of the Dong Nai Nature-Culture Reservation Area, the elephants' habitat is around 30,000 hectares of forest stretching from Cat Tien National Park to the conservation area.
On June 5, wild elephants damaged crops in Nghe An Province's Thanh Chuong District.
Residents burned torches and made loud noises but the elephants, three mature and two young, did not leave the area until early morning.
They said wild elephants have been seen around this time of the year when their food sources in the forest become scarce.
A 2009 study by Tay Nguyen University estimated that there were between 83 and 100 wild elephants in Vietnam.