Another elephant found dead in Dong Nai

September 10, 2009
Forest rangers investigate the carcass of an elephant found in Nam Cat Tien forest in July

An elephant was found dead on Tuesday night in Dong Nai, the sixth such case in the last four months in the southern Vietnamese province, underlining the authorities’ failure to protect its elephant population.

The elephant, around 3 years old and weighing 300 kilograms, was found on the banks of a stream that runs through a national park.

Officers from Dong Nai police, forest management department and the Nam Cat Tien National Park examined the site on Wednesday and concluded the elephant had “suffocated with water”.

Cao Hien Quang, vice chairman of Phu Ly Commune, Vinh Cuu District, neighboring the park, said the elephant might have been swept away while crossing the stream whose waters have risen as a result of heavy rains caused by a tropical low pressure that began building last week along the central coast.

Five elephants from the park and the Relics and Nature Reserve of Vinh Cuu District in the province were found dead in June and July. It is suspected that the five were poisoned with weed killers. Authorities have yet to conclude if this happened by accident or on purpose.

The province planned to set up an elephant reserve three years ago but the project has not taken off as the Dong Nai provincial administration and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development are still at odds over who will fund the project.

Reported by Hoang Tuan

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