Several elephants that were used to serve tourists in central highlands Dak Lak Province have died for unknown reasons while grazing in the forest.
Tourist elephant found dead in forests.
On June 27, the Dak Lak Elephant Conservation Centre said local people had found the body of an elephant at the Yon Don National Park in Buon Don District. The elephant's body was already decomposing.
After investigation, local authorities in Buon Don District found that the dead elephant was a 40-year-old female named H'Yaly. It is under the management of Y Bich Nie, a local man from Krong Na Commune's EaMar Highlands Village.
The elephant is estimated to have been dead for around one month. No injuries were found on the body. It's likely that the elephant died of starvation.
The elephant's owner, Y Bich, said, “I released the elephant to the forest to graze on May 30. However, it had not returned by June 24, so we decided to go into the forest to look for it. There we found its body.”
According to him, an H'Yaly elephant is estimated to be worth VND400 million (USD18,788) and his family has signed an elephant tourism service contract with Ban Don Tourism Centre.
In 2012, another elephant owned by Y Bich also died for unknown reasons.
In April 2014, a 62-year-old male elephant from Ho Lak Tourism Area was also found dead near a local lake after being released to graze.
Authorities are still investigating before pronouncing any official cause of the animals' deaths.
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