|In the south west China’s Yunnan Province, environmental workers have opened some canteens for wild Asian elephants.
The aim is to reduce conflicts between the elephants and people.
Staff from the Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve have created about 100 hectares of the elephant’s favourite food in three different sites. Bamboo and paper mulberry are on the menu.
On 5 July, a canteen had 20 Asian elephants who enjoyed their meal over two hours.
In Pu'er City, over 253 hectares of sugarcane, bananas and maize have been planted for the elephants.
The idea is that open-air canteens will help entice the elephants away from human settlements to prevent conflicts between the animals and people. The elephants can munch on food plants far away from the villages so they are less likely to come in to conflict with them. Fewer elephants are looking for food in the villages now.
The wild Asian elephants are endangered animals. In China their population has grown from over 170 in the 1990s to about 300 today. They live mainly in Yunnan.