Saigon Zoo elephant dung used to make paper
For the past six months, the five elephants at the Saigon Zoo have not only served visitors but also helped produce paper through an environmentally-friendly project.
Making papers out of elephant dung has been done in many countries. However, it is a new idea in Vietnam.
Mai Khac Trung Truc at the Saigon Zoo said that he joined the project with some students from the Poo Poo Papers group.
"I think it is a nice idea which will help raise people's awareness about forest protection," Truc said.
According to Truc, the five elephants at Saigon Zoo produce 500 kilos of droppings every day but they are only using five kilos for the pilot phase of the project.
The dung is gathered and washed so that only the plant fibres remain.
The fibres are then dried under the sun.
Nguyen Kieu Tuyet Ngan, 22, from Poo Poo Papers Group shows the dry fibres. They collect two kilos of dry fibre from five kilos of elephant dung.
The dry fibres are then mixed with water and ground into powder. The mixture is finally poured into A3 and A4 paper-size moulds and dried.
Ngan said that they are using the papers for paintings or greeting cards.
"We hope that as the quality of our paper improves, it can be used for other purposes," Ngan said.