Dak Lak people feel both worried and glad when seeing wild elephants in the areas near their residential quarters. This means that the wild elephant populations there have been growing well. Vietnam Net reports.

Two herds of wild elephants with some 25 individuals regularly turned up in the areas near the residential quarters in Dak Lak and Dak Nong in recent days to look for food.

On October 10, about 20 elephants were seen entering Hamlet N°6 in Ea Sup town to seek food. Local people then tried to drive them away. However, the elephants were stubborn and came back in the next days.

The tools that create sounds and fire could not frighten wild elephants any more. Therefore, it took local people five nights to drive the elephants back to the forest.

However, Huynh Trung Luan, Director of the Dak Lak provincial elephant conservation centre, thinks the elephants would come back.

“Hamlet N°6 is close to the forest, where there are many kinds of trees favoured by elephants,” he explained.

In September 2013, the elephants once came to Hamlet N°5 in Ea Sup town and destroyed crops. A report by the Ea Sup district people’s showed that during their “visits” to the hamlets, they damaged 20 hectares of crops.

Nguyen Minh Khoi, a local resident living in the area for 20 years, said he has never seen such furious elephants. “They destroyed 720 square meters of rice fields in September and they damaged the remaining some days ago,” he complained.

“We tried every method to drive them away, but they were very dogged.”

While the people in Ea Sup town live in a constant anxiety that the wild elephants would come back to destroy crops, the people in Cu Jut district of Dak Nong province spend sleepless nights trying to drive two wild elephants which first appeared in March 2013 and have come back over the last month to look for food.

According to Tran Van Thanh, Chairman of Dak Drong commune People’s Committee, two houses, seven watch towers in the fields and tens of hectares of crops have been damaged by the elephants.

Local people have been told to take manual and simple measures to drive the elephants away. If necessary, bred elephants would be mobilised to help.

According to Luan, there was a baby elephant in the herd which appeared some days ago in Ea Sup. He said the herd has well balanced structure, which included male and female elephants, adults, 2-3-year-old elephants and new born.

The new born elephant, less than 100 kilos in weight, has turned up for the first time. This is really the good news for the elephant conservation centre in Dak Lak, because this shows the development of the wild elephants.

However, Luan has expressed his worry that the elephants may be harmed because they try to damage the crops. It would be really dangerous for people if they meet elephants, because the elephants are very furious.

The project on elephant conservation in Dak Lak, which was approved by competent agencies many years ago, reportedly lacks money to run. The budget for 2014 has not been allocated yet.-VNA