KUNMING, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- A wild Asian elephant intruded into a village in Jinggu Dai and Yi Autonomous County of southwest China's Yunnan Province in search of food, according to the local forestry police on Thursday.
The county's forestry police received a report on Sunday that a male wild elephant was wandering around Xinzhai Village, eating and damaging corn and bananas.
"I got up at around 7 a.m. to look for my ox on a mountain and discovered the feces and footprints of an elephant," said villager Li Zhigui. He saw the elephant eating bananas outside the village in the afternoon.
Police immediately came to the village and monitored the whereabouts of the adult elephant, which was thought to be aggressive, to prevent human-animal conflict.
"With strengthened protection efforts for the environment and wildlife, the number of wild Asian elephants has been growing in China in recent years," said Chen Mingyong, a wildlife expert at Yunnan University.
Conflicts between elephants and humans are on the rise. In August, elephants charged a family of three heading to Jinghong City on a motorbike, killing two of the people.
Wild Asian elephants are under Class A protection in China, with a population of about 300, mainly scattered in Xishuangbanna and the cities of Pu'er and Lincang in Yunnan.
The elephant discovered on Sunday is still in the county and being monitored by forestry police, who warned villagers not to provoke or hurt the animal. The government will compensate for damage to crops and houses caused by elephants.