26 years on: Pu’er emerges as a promising habitat for wild elephants
As the eco-environment of Pu'er City continues to improve, the number of the wild Asian elephants in the southwest Yunnan locality has increased to 104 at present from only one 26 years ago in 1992.
Wild elephants visit a village in Ning'er County, Pu'er City.
Now droves of wild elephants are frequently spotted by locals or captured by cameras fixed in the forest in the Simao district of Pu'er City, as well as in the counties of Lancang, Jiangcheng, Ning'er and Jinggu.
A wild Asian elephant even wandered into the downtown of Pu'er on the night of April 7 and was guided back to the wilderness by local forest staffs.
According the Jiangcheng county annals, Jiangcheng has been a home to the Asian elephant because the names of many places in the county bear the marks the elephant. Among them, the Elephant-Leg Mountain, the Elephant Village, the Old-Elephant Valley are typical cases.
The wild elephants are hungry creatures, not content with only three means one day. It is said that they spend 16-18 hours daily in browsing, with bark constituting a major part of their diet.
Wild elephants greet each other with their noses in Pu'er.
Wild elephants rest in the Pu'er wilderness.
They drink at least once a day and are never far from a permanent source of fresh water. An adult elephant needs around 200 kilograms of food and 100 litres of water a day. Thanks to high forest coverage rate and rich plant varieties in Pu'er, the elephants' appetite are fully satisfied.
The wild Asian elephants have an average life expectancy of 60 years, with a maximum age of 100 years. A total of 34,000-47,000 elephants live in 13 Asian countries, and India accounts for over 60 percent of them.
Wild elephants browse.
Wild elephants browse at a village corn field in Pu'er.
In China, Asian elephants are under first-class national protection. China has about 300 of them, mostly in Yunnan, a significant increase from around 170 in the 1990s.
Source: Pu’er TV; Trans-editing by Wang Shixue