A plan to save one of the last remaining wild herds of elephants in Vietnam got off to an inauspicious start earlier this week, with the deaths of two elephants. A team of elephant experts spotted the two on Monday and shot them with tranquilizer darts, hoping to sedate them for the long trip from their deforested home to a nature reserve near Cambodia. One of the elephants was captured and chained, but died yesterday; the other escaped but died on Monday, apparently after falling down a hillside. Only six elephants remain in the herd, which has trampled to death a dozen people in the last three years. Overall, Vietnam has but 70 to 100 wild elephants left, down from as many as 2,000 at the end of the Vietnam War.