|According to the Viet Nam Forest Protection Department, in 2010 there were fewer than 130 individuals of wild Asian Elephants left in Viet Nam.— Photo vtv
HCM CITY (VNS)— More than 30,000 secondary school students in HCM City will take part in wildlife conservation activities, with a focus on Asian Elephant conservation under the SOS programme that kicked off yesterday.
Under the programme, which is co-organised by the non-profit organisation Wildlife At Risk (WAR), the city's Department of Education and Training and the city's Forest Protection Division, seventh-grade students at schools in Binh Thanh District will learn about wildlife through biology.
As many as 1,000 secondary students and teachers from the districts of Tan Phu, Tan Binh, Binh Tan and Go Vap will visit the Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station during the academic year.
"The SOS traveling exhibition, which was launched at the end of 2011, has received positive feedback from secondary school teachers and students," said Nguyen Hoai Chuong, deputy director of the city's Department of Education and Training.
The SOS traveling exhibition is a 60-sq.m tent with various interactive exhibits, models, objects and games to show students threats to wildlife.
Twenty-eight wild elephants and 10 domestic elephants in Viet Nam have died in the last four years, according to statistics released by WAR.
According to the Viet Nam Forest Protection Department, in 2010 there were fewer than 130 individuals of wild Asian Elephants left in Viet Nam.
A survey on the consumption of wild animal products conducted by WAR in 2011 showed that elephants were being used for ornamental purposes, mostly in HCM City.
Previously, most male elephants were killed for their precious tusks. But now female and baby elephants were also being killed for their skin, trunks, soles of feet, teeth, bones, meat and tails, all of which have commercial value.
"The department is committed to place wildlife education into biology classes for grade seven with an aim to educate students to save wildlife from illegal consumption," Chuong said.
WAR has worked with several agencies to combat wildlife crimes that are often reported by students as well as local residents, said Nguyen Vu Khoi, WAR's CEO. — VNS