Forty-five housed elephants at a conservation center in Vietnam’s Central Highlands are being implanted with microchip for better protection and management, the venue director said Friday.
Veterinarians at the Dak Lak Elephant Conservation Center (DECC), located in the eponymous province bordering Cambodia, are currently checking the animals’ health and will implant the chips into those deemed fit.
The program will cost some VND90 million (US$4,000), funded by the center’s own money, director Huynh Trung Luan said.
“As the elephants belong to different organizations and individuals, and the animals are currently kept in various areas, the process will take quite some time,” Luan added.
|Workers at the Dak Lak Elephant Conservation Center implant a microchip into an elephant. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
Pham Van Thinh, a scientist working at DECC, said that the microchip does not have GPS tracking and mainly aims to manage the number of the elephants and monitor the animals’ health.
Every device implanted into the animals carries a unique code, which is recorded and stored by specialized software. The microchip functions like an ‘ID card’ for the elephants, Luan said.
One challenge for DECC is that some elephant owners are now fully aware of the necessity for the microchip implementation and therefore refused to cooperate with the center.
The DECC director has also proposed implanting microchips for wild elephants, but the proposal has not been approved yet.
According to the director, the proposal requires the approval of both Vietnamese and Cambodian authorities as wild elephants travel everywhere between the two countries.