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Wild elephant attack kills Yunnan woman

(Xinhua)

08:51, November 01, 2012

KUNMING, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- A female villager in southwest China's Yunnan Province died after a suspected attack by wild Asian elephants, local police said on Wednesday.

The body of 56-year-old Li Lianfen was found on Wednesday in a watermelon field near the city of Jinghong in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture. Police found multiple fractures on the body, and elephant foot prints and dung in the field.

Police believe the woman was harvesting pig feed on Tuesday evening when she encountered a group of wild elephants searching for food.

It is common for wild elephants to damage crops or attack humans near the rainforests of Xishuangbanna, which is home to the 250 or so Asian elephants living in China.

The provincial government of Yunnan has faced mounting bills for compensation for damage caused by these state-protected animals, with the costs amounting to 10 million yuan (1.6 mln U.S. dollars) in some years. In 2009, it therefore signed a contract with China Pacific Insurance Co., allowing the private insurer to cover some of the losses.
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