In the forests of southern Laos is a national preserve for the endangered Eld's deer. The deer are famous for their large, beautiful antlers with crescent curves. Although they once roamed from India to China, poaching and deforestation have led to their extinction in many countries. They were believed to have vanished from Laos 50 years ago, but were rediscovered in 2008. The government has led conservation efforts ever since, and the preserve is changing the lives of locals who depended on the forest for survival. Discover how the government is looking to protect the deer while improving the lives of locals.
Laos' National Eld's Deer Sanctuary is home to over 600 animal and plant species, including at least 170 Eld's deer.
The eighty people in the sanctuary patrol team come from 16 local villages. They patrol the sanctuary in shifts, policing poachers and illegal loggers.
Locals have long relied on the forest for food. The sanctuary center provides free vegetable seeds and manure, encouraging the farming of cash crops.