VietNamNet Bridge – After the death of an elephant named Beckham in the Central Highland city of Da Lat last week, wildlife experts have warned that the number of elephants in Vietnam is falling and elephants will be extinct in the next ten years.
Scott Roberton, Country Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in Vietnam, talked about elephant conservation in Vietnam.
A male elephant named Beckham was killed in Da Lat city. What do you think about this case?
In Vietnam, at least ten elephants were reportedly killed in Dong Nai and Dak Lak province in the past 19 months.
The number of elephants in Vietnam, both wild and tamed elephants, is facing extinction. The murder of elephant Beckham is another warning about this situation and man must take responsibility for the extremely endangered situation of elephants.
If the situation is not improved, elephant species will be extinct in Vietnam in the next ten years.
In Vietnam, Asian elephants are now at the significant turning point for their survival due to hunting and losing their living environment.
The elephant killed (in Da Lat) is a tamed elephant. When the elephant was brought from the forest to a tourist site to tame and to serve tourists, that elephant no longer performed its mission in the nature.
What do you think about wildlife preservation in Vietnam?
Endangered wild animals like primates, turtle, tiger and elephant may be extinct in the next ten years.
Vietnam lost the war to save the Java rhino species on April 29, 2010 (the day the body of the rhino which is considered as the last of its kind in Vietnam was found). Wild animal species in Vietnam will disappear very quickly, so we need to take action immediately.
We don’t need more speeches or action plans. It’s time to take action; otherwise it will be too late.
In you opinion, why does illegal hunting wild animals exist in Vietnam?
Vietnam is among markets for wild animals and products from wild animals which are used as pets, medicines, decorative items or to take meat. This threats wild animals.
Vietnam has had legal systems on wildlife preservation, sufficient finance and human resources. However, Vietnam still lacks determination and effectively implementation of its laws against crimes related to wild animals.
Could you tell us of some experiences in the world in wildlife preservation?
There are many countries that are examples in the conservation of wild animals. The decisive factor for their success is strictly executing the laws.
India is a typical example. This is one of the two largest countries by population, but India can still preserve its abundant biodiversity. The number of tigers is increasing in many nature reserves in India because they protect these areas very well.
In Nepal, rhinos have been saved from the brink of extinction through effective and strong implementation of law.