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Wild elephant attacks villager in Yunnan

Updated:2018-05-31 10:34:32   XinHua

A villager was injured by a wild Asian elephant while picking mushrooms in southwest China's Yunnan Province, local authorities said Wednesday.

The 52-year-old victim, surnamed He, called police after the incident on Sunday afternoon in the mountains four kilometers from Nanmanhe Village, in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, according to the local forest police.

The adult elephant was about two meters tall, according to the bureau. Wild adult asian elephants weigh about 2,000 kg on average.

"I was heading home after collecting mushrooms in the mountains when I met the elephant," He said.

According to He, the elephant was also surprised to see him.

"It rushed towards me, knocked me down with its tusk, and walked over my body before disappearing into the forest," he said.

He was sent to hospital and doctors said he suffered several injuries to his knees, legs, and arms.

The local forestry bureau has strengthened monitoring of elephants in the vicinity.

In China, wild Asian elephants mainly live in three prefectures in Yunnan, with Xishuangbanna home to the biggest population.

The species is under Class A protection in China and is listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

Enhanced protection has seen the elephant's population rise in recent years, but cases of interactions with humans have also increased, according to the local government.

It is estimated that about 300 Asian elephants currently live in China, up from about 170 in the 1990s. In April, an wild elephant walked through the city of Pu'er for about six hours before heading back into the forest, while a man was trampled to death by another wild elephant in Xishuangbanna.

Since 2014, Yunnan has purchased commercial insurance for residents of the province. The government pays the premiums, and the insurance companies
compensate the residents if wild animals attack them.

Editor: John Li