Staff members celebrate the birthday of Yang Niu, a four-year-old Asian elephant, during a public awareness activity on the occasion of World Elephant Day in a tourism area in the Dai Autonomous Prefecture of Xishuangbanna, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Aug. 12, 2019. Yang Niu was abandoned by her herd just days after birth. She was rescued and grew up in an elephant breeding and rescue center. (Xinhua/Yang Zongyou)
SW China's Yunnan steps up efforts on elephant protection. The number of wild Asian elephants in Yunnan has grown to 293 over the past nearly four decades.
KUNMING, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- The population of wild Asian elephants in southwest China's Yunnan Province has reached 293, a 52 percent increase from 193 during the early 1980s, experts said Monday.
The data was released at the first meeting of the first expert committee on Asian elephants, which consists of members who specialize in the ecological study, conservation and breeding of Asian elephants.
"Establishing the committee on Asian elephants aims to pool wisdom of experts and improve the mechanisms for the protection and management of the species," said Xiang Ruwu, head of the wildlife protection division of the Yunnan Forestry and Grassland Administration.
Breeders take wild Asian elephants "Xiaoqiang" (L) , "Ranran" (C) and "Yangniu" (R) to conduct field training in the forest at Asian Elephant Breeding and Rescue Centre in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Yunnan Province, June 5, 2017. (Xinhua/Jing Huihui)
He added that the province will work on the restoration and construction of habitats of the species, covering 7,500 hectares in total, to reduce human-elephant conflicts.
Asian elephants are under first-class national protection in China. The elephants are mainly found in Yunnan. ■