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Forest elephant runs amok, destroys bike in southern Vietnam

Forest elephant runs amok, destroys bike in southern Vietnam

Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 14:17 GMT+7

A local man was charged by an adult forest elephant, leaving his motorcycle destroyed on his way to work at a nature reserve in the southern Vietnamese province of Dong Nai on Monday.

At around 6:45 am, several citizens were terrified after spotting a wild forest elephant, whose ivories were uneven, standing in the bushes along a road, as they traveled to work at farms in the Dong Nai Culture and Nature Reserve in Vinh Cuu District.

Many decided to stay in the area to warn others of the potential danger.

Despite the alert, Nguyen Van Khang failed to stop his motorbike, and continued to approach the elephant, unaware that others were trying to warn him, resulting in a confrontation with the large animal.

Khang was then forced to abandon his motorcycle and flee from danger.

Due to the presence of many people at the scene, the plant-eating mammal then became agitated, causing it to wreck a small tree before charging Khang’s motorbike.

The elephant used its trunk to repeatedly lift the vehicle and smash it on the ground before stomping on the bike several times.

The animal ceased its rampage at about 7:30 am, returning to the bushes along the road and keeping watch, preventing the farmers from going to work.

Several people decided to return home while Khang and some others quickly retrieved his motorcycle, which was heavily damaged.

According to Pham Van Dong, a local forest protection officer, forest elephants often come out of their usual habitat at this time of the year due to the limited source of food in the jungle.

They tend to find edibles at locals’ farms between 5:00 pm and 7:00 am every day, Dong said.

“Elephants have recently been seen in the area looking for durians and cashew nuts. Despite their calm nature, these mammals can easily become aggressive if surrounded by many people,” the forest protection officer elaborated.

It is advisable for citizens not to go to work early in the morning or return home late at night to avoid consequences, he added.

According to famers, the animal is a member of a herd of seven to 11 elephants that usually hunt for food at local farms.

They are often more hostile and violent when going in groups, the farmers added.

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The forest elephant broke a small tree along the road in Dong Nai Province on April 11, 2016. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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