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Elephant tramples villager to death

(Shanghai Daily)

13:50, November 07, 2011

A villager was killed by a wild Asian elephant in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province, the local government said yesterday.

Police confirmed the death of Cao Xiao'er, a resident of Xinshan Village, was caused by a wild elephant, according to a statement issued by the prefecture government's information office.

According to Cao's family, he went to gather herbs on Friday afternoon and failed to return. His body was found on Saturday afternoon.

There were bloodstains and wounds to his head, chest and legs, indicating he had been trampled. The footprints and dung of wild elephants were around the body, according to the statement.

Under the protection of the local government, the number of wild Asian elephants in the rainforests of Xishuang-banna has increased to more than 250, about 90 percent of China's wild elephant population. Since 1991, wild elephants there have attacked more than 140 people and destroyed 50,000 tons of grain, local forestry authorities said last year.

The local government used to pay compensation of between 3 million and 10 million yuan annually for elephant attacks. In November 2009, the government signed a contract with China Pacific Insurance so the insurer covered some of the villagers' losses.

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