Elephant races begin in Dak Lak province

Thursday, 2014-03-13 17:43:38
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Elephants show off their strength and skills at the festival
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Nhan Dan/ VNA - The Buon Don Ethnic Cultural Festival and Elephant Race got underway on March 12 in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak.

The festival, held in Buon Don District, features a wide range of cultural activities including a buffalo sacrifice ceremony and a gong ritual, which are used to pray for bumper crops and prosperity.

Meanwhile, 18 elephants will show off their strength and skills in running, football and swimming games.

Visitors to the biennial event will also have a chance to enjoy traditional music, costumes and cuisine. They can also tour the Yok Don National Forest and local villages by elephant.

The festival, part of the ‘2014 Central Highlands - Da Lat Tourism Year’, runs until March 14.

Dak Lak province is known as the home of tamed elephants. However, the number of elephants has declined sharply—from 502 in 1985 to 84 in 2000, to fewer than 60 in 2010.

In order to protect its elephants, the province has initiated a VND61 billion (US$3.1 million) project, under which a facility was built to provide healthcare and research on elephant reproduction and conservation.