The Central Highlands province of Dak Lak held its traditional elephant race in Lak district on March 11 as part of the fifth Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Festival.

Sixteen participating elephants demonstrated their strength and skills in running on land and in rivers.

This year’s race attracted thousands of visitors from both within and outside the province.

Roger Cull, an Australian tourist, said he was impressed with the elephant race in Vietnam, adding that this is the first time he had seen such a competition.

Dak Lak province has been dubbed the home of tamed elephants, though their population declined sharply from 502 in 1985 to 84 in 2000 with fewer than 60 in 2010.

In order to preserve the species, the province carried out a project worth 61 billion VND (3.1 million USD) which included the establishment of a healthcare and research facility on elephant reproduction and conservation.-VNA