According to figures from conservation organizations, Vietnam’s wild elephant population has shrunk by 95 percent since 1975 to less than 100. At least 23 wild elephants have died over the past seven years, and nearly 75 percent of them were less than a year old.
Experts say that plantations near their natural habitats are a major threat to their survival. This exact problem has been reported in Yok Don Park in the Central Highlands, which is home to the largest group of wild elephants in Vietnam.
“The big animals need a giant habitat, but theirs has become narrow and unsafe,” said Van Ngoc Thinh, director of WWF Vietnam.
Around the world, habitat destruction and ivory trade make elephants a vulnerable species, especially in Asian countries with increasingly large populations and ever dwindling space.