Special 'dining hall' operates for wild elephants in Southwest China to
prevent conflicts with humans
September 8, 2021
A 670,000 square meter base specializing in supplying food to elephants in
Jinghong, Southwest China's Yunnan Province opened on Tuesday, which will
help resolve conflicts between local residents and wild elephants as
elephants have been seen breaking into croplands for lack of food.
The construction of the food base, also dubbed "elephants' dining hall,"
was launched in December 2020 and completed in May at the cost of 100
million yuan ($15 million) the Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday.
The "dining hall"has a large amount of plants and five salt pools to meet
the need of wild Asian elephant, Cha Wei, deputy director of Jionghong
Nature Reserve Management Office, told Xinhua.
The base was established in accordance with the track of wild Asian
elephants. "We finally chose the nation-owed forest where Asian elephants
regularly pass by," Cha said.
Asian elephant is a Grade-1 species of wild animals under China's priority
conservation. The number of Asian elephants in Jinghong has increased from
85 at the end of the last century to 185, causing an overlap in living area
between elephants and local residents.
In mid-April, a herd of 14 wild Asian elephants left home and headed north.
They wandered more than 500 kilometers across Yunnan, foraged for food in
villages and croplands before finally returning to their habitat in
Decreasing bearing capacity of the elephant habitat is the major reason for
why the herd headed north, wildlife experts said. Wild Asian elephants have
to leave their habitant to search for food because edible plants for
elephants have been reduced.
If provided with enough food, the elephants will not break into villages
and croplands to forage, which can help resolve conflicts between local
people and wild elephants, Cha said.