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Lives of rangers in Lo Go Xa Mat National Park

Thu, 25 Sep 2014 . Last updated Thu, 25 Jun 2015 08:50

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Coming to Lo Go Xa Mat National Park and experiencing lives of rangers here, you can understand the difficult lives of the rangers. They have to suffer from the bad things as well as the good things to protect the forest, one of the gems of Vietnam.

Lo Go Xa Mat is the only National Park in Vietnam that is completely flat terrain. Located in Tan Bien district in Tay Ninh province, the national park offers a great biodiversity. Its area is a total up 18.806 hectares, of which the area of natural forest is up to 14.387 hectares. This national park plays important role in keeping the ecological balance in this area particularly the water source.  The flora and fauna is diverse with many rare species of plants and animals recognized in danger in the Red Book of Vietnam and of the world.

I am lucky to know Mr. Thom with more than 30 years of experience working as a ranger. In the past, Mr. Thom served in the army. With the experience of a scout and the love of the forest make Mr.Thom become a top-class ranger. This is the first time I see the trap in forest. It simply is a hole under the ground, disguise by leaves and steel chain. Simply like it is, the trap is really dangerous. Trapped animals with minor wounds will be taken care of at the rescue area. They will be treated and then released back into the wild.

I visit Lo Go Xa Mat in the rainy season, perhaps arrived at the right time to understand the difficulties and challenges the rangers have to face here. In this season all the paths of the forest seem to become a stream mud everywhere and you easily get stuck. Rain can come up any time. But it doesn’t fade their periodicals. Monitor lizards often appear in this season. They go searching for food. Poachers also know the rules about this creature. The lizards now have much in the national park thanks to the good protection this creation in recent years. Their habit has been restored and preserved well, however this species is still in the Red list of endangered species in Vietnam. There are not many monitor lizards in other areas. Trapped monitor lizards will be treated and released back into the wild.

The wildlife rescue center of Lo Go Xa Mat National Park was established in 2008. A lot of rare animals have been rescued and protected here such as chimpanzee, monitor lizards, tortoise, snake and even king cobra…These animals were trapped by the poachers and . There have veterinarians caring for these animals. And after being carefully taken care, they will release back into the wild again. Without the help of rangers these creatures probably would be died in the forest.


Here they are taking care of a king cobra. Its weight about 12 kilos so it’s the biggest snake in Vietnam. A mature cobra may measure more than 6 meters. This king cobra is around 4 meters. It is extremely poisonous. This species is listed in the Red Book of Vietnam and the world. This king cobra is an exhibit in a wild animal trafficking case. The police seized some traffickers who had it and when it was brought here, it was rather weak. After some proper treatment, it recovered. Now it can come back to the wild. The Vietnamese and international law protects this species. Before rangers let it go, they should feed it in case it has problems finding food after a long time out of the forest. 

I am now following Mr. Thom and rangers to experience the night in the forest. The rangers told me when they go on patrol and stay in the forest, they often find bamboo shoot and have them for supper. Mr. Thom has showed me how to use the wire in the forest to hang a canvas. According to the fire prevention law, we are not allowed to make fire in the forest. But there are exceptions. We can make fire for cooking but only for a short time. Particularly in the dry season, we must clear the area around the fire well. After cooking we must completely kill the fire. We are not allowed to catch any animals for meat. Only when you sit here and have meal like this, can you feel the difficult lives of rangers in Lo Go Xa Mat National Park.


Source: VTV4 –

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