Chinese village builds barricades to fend off marauding wild elephants

Locals living in nature reserve were plagued by animals looking for food

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 November, 2017, 3:18pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 November, 2017, 4:19pm

Villagers in southwest China who have been plagued for years by rampaging wild elephants looking for food have welcomed a scheme to build a barrier to protect them.

The pilot project to build an enclosure round Xiangyanqing in Yunnan province has been judged so successful that it will now be expanded to other villages in the Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve, state television reported on Thursday.

Residents reported a dozen incidents in which elephants were kept out of the village in just over a month, Guo Xianming, director of the Asian elephants protection project in Xishuangbanna, told CCTV.

The reserve hosts most of the country’s wild Asian elephants, which number between 200 and 300, according to a study published by the country’s Institute of Zoology.

The village introduced the barriers recently to cope with attacks from the wild elephants which came looking for sugar cane and banana leaves and would eat their grain and destroy electric appliances in their houses, villager Feng Guanglin told the broadcaster.

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The locals have also established a public liability insurance system which will cover losses caused by wild elephants with government funds.

They have also set up watch teams to observe the elephants and monitor the situation.

“We have found a good way to prevent people’s lives and property from being damaged by wild elephants,” Guo said.