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Newborn wild Asian elephants spotted in Yunnan

KUNMING (XINHUA) – Six new baby Asian elephants have been spotted in succession recently in the Wild Elephant Valley in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, showing that the endangered animal’s population is growing steadily in China.

The six elephant calves belong to four herds that have been frequently spotted in the valley recently, and they are expected to stay there for some time, said Bao Mingwei, a vet at the valley which is located in the Xishuangbanna national nature reserve.

January to April is the peak time for wild Asian elephant births and sightings in the Wild Elephant Valley, according to Bao. Wild Asian elephants are under A-level state protection in China. Thanks to protection efforts over the past 30 years, their population in the country has grown to about 300, mostly in Yunnan.

The Wild Elephant Valley also serves as the only scenic spot in China where tourists can see wild Asian elephants up close without disturbing the creatures. Over the past two years, about 100 wild elephants have been spotted by staff in the valley.

A wild Asian elephant calf is seen at the Wild Elephant Valley in the Xishuangbanna national nature reserve, southwest China’s Yunnan Province. PHOTO: XINHUA