Wild elephants have been destroying local households’ crops since the start of this year. (Photo: VNA)

Dong Nai (VNA) – Forest rangers of Dinh Quan district in the southern province of Dong Nai have been provided with equipment to monitor and drive away wild elephants that have been destroying local households’ crops since the start of this year.

The equipment includes a drone, night-vision binoculars, cameras, long-beam lights, hand-held loudspeakers, protective footwear, and raincoats.

Nguyen Van Chieu, head of the district’s forest ranger team, said about 14 wild elephants, in groups of two or three, have approached households in Hamlet 5, Thanh Son commune, Dinh Quan district, to search for food, salt, and water.

Since early 2019, there have been 11 incidents of elephants intruding upon crop fields of local households, he said, adding that Dong Nai’s forest ranger department has built a 50km electric fence system and is asking for permission to set up another 20km to prevent wild elephants from coming into the area.

Experts say the elephant requires a vast habitat, but its living space has been shrunk due to human encroachment into the forest. Local foresters in Dong Nai say the natural habitat for wild Asian elephants has shrunk from 50,000ha in the 1990s to 34,000ha in 2009.

Only some 100 wild elephants remain in Vietnam, with most living in Dak Lak, Dong Nai, and Nghe An provinces, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Forest Management Department.

The Government has adopted several policies aimed at preserving the elephant herd, including a master plan for 2013-2020. –VNA