The Dak Lak Elephant Conservation Centre rescued a wild elephant trapped at the Yok Don national park, the park said on March 8.

The three-year-old elephant weighs around 500 kilograms and often roams with domesticated elephants to seek food, according to Director of the centre Huynh Trung Luan.

The elephant lost all the nails in one front leg and had a wound in his trunk, Luan said.

On February 26, the centre coordinated with the Yok Don national park and experts from the Animals Asia Foundation to treat the elephant.

After surgery, the elephant is recovering well. He is being cared for at the park and will be released into the wild again once he has completely recovered.

In 2012, the centre successfully rescued another three-year-old elephant trapped in the park.

According to the provincial Elephant Conservation Centre, the number of wild elephants living in the province declined to between 70 and 80 in 2014 from over 550 in 1980.

Meanwhile, the population of domesticated elephants has shrunk from 502 in 1980 to 49 in 2014, down over 90 percent.

If current trends continue, the herd is forecast to disappear in 20 – 30 years.

In response to those conditions, in 2013 the province approved an urgent project worth nearly 85 billion VND (around 40 million USD) for conserving wild elephants in the locality through 2020, aiming to sustainably manage the population of wild and domesticated elephants.-VNA