[Explanation] With the continuous increase in the number of Asian elephants in China, the scope of Asian elephants has gradually expanded, causing many conflicts between human and elephants.
In areas where Asian elephant activities are frequent, such as Pu'er and Xishuangbanna in Yunnan, the local government has begun to build a food source base for Asian elephants and opened an "exclusive canteen" for Asian elephants.
[Concurrent] Su Jun, staff member of the Asian Elephant Food Source Base in Xishuangbanna
It turned out that our farmers planted corn and fields here. Because the conflict between the wild elephant and the human-elephant was too serious, the reserve returned the land, and returned it to carry out ecological restoration as a habitat for wild elephants.
[Explanation] In order to meet the feeding needs of Asian elephants, in August 2019, Pu'er City launched the Asian elephant food source base construction project, exploring the establishment of "elephant canteens" in the main activity areas of Asian elephants, and planting Asian elephants in different periods and seasons For crops such as corn and plantain, which are popular to eat, the food shortage problem of Asian elephants at the turn of spring and summer can be solved by feeding them in key areas and at important times.
[Concurrent] Zhou Zhitao, Chief of Wildlife and Wetland Protection Section, Forestry and Grass Bureau, Pu'er City
At present, our Pu'er City is building an 11,000-acre Asian elephant food source base, which is commonly known as the "elephant canteen".
This year, on the basis of the original 4,000 mu, it has increased to 7,000 mu.
Mainly distributed in Simao District, Lancang County and Jiangcheng County where our Asian elephants are mainly active.
The Asian elephant food source base is mainly used to enrich the food of Asian elephants to meet the daily feeding needs of Asian elephants.
Asian elephants feed at the food source base. After meeting, the probability of Asian elephants entering villages and households will be reduced, and the safety of life and property of the people will be more effectively guaranteed.
[Explanation] Every year when corn and other plants enter the mature stage, Asian elephants will come to the "Elephant Canteen" for food and activities in batches. At the most, there are more than 50 Asian elephants foraging in the "Elephant Canteen".
During the period, there will be dedicated Asian elephant monitors to conduct continuous tracking and monitoring to ensure the safety of human elephants.
Most of the land used for the construction of the "elephant canteen" is land that has been released due to frequent infestation by Asian elephants. The government encourages the masses to plant crops that Asian elephants like to eat at different times and seasons.
[Concurrent] Yang Song, director of the Wildlife Protection Station in Jiangcheng County, Pu'er City
According to the route of the elephant group’s activity, this food source base is divided, and farmers are allowed to grow the food that elephants like to eat, mainly corn, sugar cane, plantain, and banana, so as to guide the elephant group away from the village to the food source base to get food ( effect).
The standard for this planting is to subsidize farmers 200 yuan per mu.
After the subsidy, if the elephant eats in the past, the insurance company will make a claim after eating it, according to the claim standard.
If the elephants do not eat during the harvest season, farmers can also harvest it themselves.
[Explanation] Originally, the farmland that was forced to be abandoned due to frequent visits by elephants, is now leased by the government to build an "elephant canteen". Asian elephants have a fixed source of food, the number of activities in the village has been significantly reduced, and the villagers also have a source of income.
"Elephant canteen" has become an effective way to promote harmony between humans and elephants.
Reporter Du Xiaoxiao from Yunnan
Responsible editor: [Luo Pan]