Wild elephants destroy houses, crops in central Vietnam

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Three wild elephants ravaged crops and damaged dozens of houses in a hamlet in the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong last week, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported.


Residents at Hamlet 20 in Cu Jut District's Dak Drong Commune, which borders a forest, said the elephants entered houses, forcing residents to flee.


When the residents got home later, many houses had been badly damaged.


The elephants had eaten rice, salt and other edible things in the houses and smashed the furniture.


The animals also ravaged crops belonging to dozens of residents.


Children and elders evacuated to relatives' houses in other hamlets. Only young men and adults stayed to shoo the elephants away from their cassava and sugarcane fields.


The Cu Jut District government on Monday asked local forest protection officers and police to cooperate to help move the elephants away from residents' houses.


It also called on locals not to tease or do any harm to the elephants.


Initial statistics by Dak Drong Commune showed 47 households had their houses and crops damaged by the elephants.


The commune authorities on Monday asked higher authorities to take the elephants to Yok Don National Park in neighboring Dak Lak Province, 25 kilometers away from Dak Drong, to protect both the animals and the locals.


The same day, Dak Lak Elephant Conservation Center said the three elephants may have strayed from the herds of elephants in the park.


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