Elephants at wild locations in Vietnam

6 wild locations has kept elephants in Vietnam
There is presently 55 (0,0) living elephants in wild locations in Vietnam (in this database)

Region: Vietnam is in this database included in asiaOther regions
Wild elephants:

Vietnam has about 97 (min. 83, max. 110) wild elephants. Source:Cao Thi Ly (2011)

Location holdings:

6 wild locations has kept 80 elephants in Vietnam

(Database tables with collection of elephants further down on the page)

Elephants in wild locations55 (0,0) living25 (7,3) dead
Sex ratio and
 Male  0 / 55  0%
 Female  0 / 55  0%
 Free contact  0 / 55  0%
 Protected contact  0 / 55  0%
 No contact  0 / 55  0%
 Unknown contact  0 / 55  0%
 wild  55 / 55 

Hunting, forest clearances and warfare that saw forests bombed and poisoned with Agent Orange and other defoliants, made elephants functionally extinct. Conservationists hope inviable herds will cross to Cambodia and Laos.

Human-elephant conflict

There were 26 deaths of people reported in the period from 1993 to 2004 due to HEC (FPD 2004).

Wild population

1975: Vietnam was estimated to have as many as 2,000 wild elephants in 1975.

1985: According to historian Duong Trung Quoc, Viet Nam had over 500 wild elephants in 1985.

1996: population was estimated to 300-600 (Santiapillai, IUCN 1996).

2008: Wild elephant population 76-94 (Sukumar 2008)

2009: Based on the information of the frequency of tracks and statistical analysis Department of Forest Resources and Environment Management(FREM) of Tay Nguyen University estimated the number of wild elephants to be around 83 to 110

Captive population

Captive elephants in Vietnam had dwindled from 600 in 1980 to 165 in 2006, according to the International Zoo Yearbook 2006.

2000: 165 elephants.

Currently (2011) there are 82 individual with 21 male and 61 female of domestic elephants in Vietnam. -Source: The current situation of elephants in Vietnam, by Cao Thi Ly, Tai Nguyen University, Vietnam

2019: No calves have survived birth since 1989 in a Central Highlands district where elephants are considered kin and buried among family members. (VN Express)

Dak Lak

According to “Tame Elephants in the Cultural Life of M’Nong” by Tran Tan Vinh, there were 503 tame elephants in Dak Lak in 1987. By 1997, the number was only 166, of which 64 were in Buon Don. Now, there are only 36 tame elephants left in the entire province. Buon Don has the highest number with 24, while private owners have another 12 and the remainder belong to Yok Don National Park and tour companies.

According to Dak Lak authorities, four tamed elephants died in 2010 due to disease and old age. This province now has only 56 tamed elephants, including merely three of less than 15 years old, 43 that are 15-45 years old (14 female and 29 male), and the remaining are old and weak elephants.

In Daklak, According to Daklak FPD, numbers of domestic elephants lessen along times as mentioned, 1980 year there were 502 individuals, 1990 that numbers were 298 individuals, declined to 96 individual in 2000, 64 individuals in 2006. In 2009, there were 61 individuals with 23 male and 38 female. However, they are only 53 individuals up to now with 19 male and 34 female.
-Source: The current situation of elephants in Vietnam, by Cao Thi Ly, Tai Nguyen University, Vietnam

2015: Only during the beginning of four months in 2015, 5 elephants died. Four of the elephants that died were captive and one was a wild elephant. (Source)

2019: On the morning of December 1, Bak Kham gave birth to a stillborn infant the family was unable to resuscitate, having blown air into its trunk for nearly 30 minutes. (VN Express)

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan, Facts about elephants in Vietnam. Elephant Encyclopedia, (2021) available online retrieved at https://www.elephant.se/country.php?name=Vietnam.
(archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources, among others

Internal relevant links

  • The elephant database startpage. Statistics
  • News about elephants in Vietnam (From the sister site Elephant News)

  • NameElephant collectionTypePlaceDistrictProvinceStateRegion
    Cat Tien National Park
    Kept totally 18 elephants
    , 7 present (0,0) 1 births4 relocated7 deathswildDong Nai Province
    Chu Pah forestry company
    Kept totally 5 elephants
    , 5 present (0,0) 0 births0 relocated0 deathswild
    Dong Nai province
    Kept totally 10 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 9 births7 relocated3 deathswildDong Nai
    Dong Nai Province
    Nghe An province
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 1 births0 relocated1 deathswildVinhNorth Central Coast
    Tanh Linh National park
    Kept totally 9 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0) 0 births6 relocated3 deathswildTanh Linh DistrictBình Thuận Province
    Yok Don National Park
    Kept totally 65 elephants
    , 43 present (0,0) 59 births11 relocated11 deathswildKrong Na commune, Buon Don District
    Dak Lak Province

    This document was updated: 2020-10-05 13:30:46

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