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Wild Asian elephant kills villager in SW China


08:11, November 07, 2011

KUNMING, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- A villager was killed by a wild Asian elephant in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in southwest Yunnan Province, the local government said on Sunday.

Local police confirmed the death of Cao Xiaoer, a resident of Xinshan Village in the prefecture, was caused by a wild elephant, said a statement issued by the prefecture government's information office.

According to Cao's family, Cao went to gather herbs Friday afternoon and did not return. His body was found on Saturday afternoon.

Cao's back had bloodstains and wounds to his head, chest and legs indicated he had been trampled. On the ground, fresh foot prints and dung of wild elephants were scattered, according to the statement.

Under the protection of the local government, the number of wild Asian elephants in the rainforests of Xishuangbanna has increased to more than 250, about 90 percent of China's wild elephant population.

Since 1991, wild elephants in Xishuangbanna have attacked more than 140 people and destroyed 50,000 tonnes of grain, local forestry authorities said one year ago.

The local government used to pay the compensation for the elephant attacks, which amounted to 3 million to 10 million yuan per year.

In November 2009, the provincial government signed a contract with China Pacific Insurance Co., allowing the private insurer to cover some of the villagers' losses.

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