Vietnam villagers seek eviction of marauding elephants
An aggressive herd of elephants is frightening villagers in Vietnam's Central Highlands, but a local official said Thursday that requests to remove the elephants were "not feasible."
About 20 elephants have appeared in a commune in Ea Sup District of Dak Lak province, destroying nearly 40 hectares of crops and causing an estimated 50,000 dollars in damage, the Lao Dong newspaper reported.
But evicting the elephants would be "very expensive and takes time," Y Rit Buon Ya, deputy director of Dak Lak Department for Agriculture and Rural Development, told the German Press Agency dpa.
The process, he said, would also require support from the central government and help from the international community.
It was the fifth time the elephants have damaged crops since the beginning of 2010.
"We have to light fires every night to scare off the elephants but they seem not to be afraid anymore," Ngo Van Luon, a villager, told local press.
The elephants even seemed attracted to fire, he said. "They show signs of coming to our place, making us too frightened, so we have to run away."
"This elephant group is really causing danger for local people because they are very aggressive," Ya said. "Local people will be starving if they continue to destroy their farms.
"The only way to help local people to avoid starvation is to grow paddy in other places."