Elephants in Vietnam
Don't let Vietnamese elephants just remain as memories
In 1990 there were estimated to be between 1,500 and 2,000 wild Asian elephants in Vietnam, today the numbers are thought to be less than 100. On these pages, we will explore:
Issues with elephants in Viet Nam.
Where elephants remain and how you can see them.
Why do we still need them?
Initiatives: who wants elephants to survive?
Where can you get more information on elephants in Viet Nam?
There are two areas in the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) where elephants can be seen most easily by visitors: Buon Jun and Buon Don (Buon is a village). They both can be accessed from Buon Ma Thuot city, with Buon Jun 52 Km south and Buon Don about 55 Km north-west of the city. Unfortunately, the estimated total population in the area has dwindled to less than 50 elephants, from a population of more than 500: three decades ago.
Buon Jun is a small lake side minority village of K'nong minority and is famous for a base of Elephant rides, and sightseeing around the Ho (lake) Lak.
It takes about 1-2 hours to get to Buon Don, an extensive "elephant zone" in the mountainous area, with Yok Don National Park to the South and contiguous reserves in Cambodia.
A remnant population in Dong Nai Province is centred around the south-west areas of Cat Tien National Park and Vinh Cuu Nature Reserve. In 2009 there were thought to be 13 elephants, which are being kept unfenced in the protected areas, but they have increasingly come into conflict with adjacent villagers, trampling crops and damaging houses. A number of elephant deaths have been reported recently, and the population may now be less than 10.
This page will be improved shortly (RPB, 16/8/2011)