A herd of 20 wild elephants foraging for food and water near residential areas in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak is threatening the safety of local residents.
Huynh Trung Luan, director of the Dak Lak Elephant Conservation Center, said the elephants have destroyed crops and irrigation systems in several villages in Ea Sup District.
“They are apparently moving from the Yok Don National Park to the Ea Sup Thuong Reservoir for water.”
While there have been cases of elephants searching for food near residential areas in the past, this is the first time they have appeared during the day, he said.
Many residents said they are worried after the giant animals uprooted several mature cashew trees.
Experts from the Dak Lak Elephant Conservation Center are keeping track of the elephants and have instructed local residents in how to chase them away to ensure both their and the animals’ safety.
The elephants are among the last wild elephants in Dak Lak, which is home to the largest wild elephant population in Vietnam with about 60 individuals.
The number has fallen from 2,000 in the 1980s, mostly due to poaching and habitat loss.