Wild elephant breaks tusk from horseplay
A wild Asian elephant living in a village in the city of Pu'er in southwest China's Yunnan Province was found to have broken off a portion of its tusk.
Blood stains can be seen on the broken portion of the tusk from a wild elephant living in a village in the city of Pu'er in southwest China's Yunnan Province on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. The elephant broke its only tusk while playing with another wild elephant. [Photo: IC]
Yang Zhongping, a local Asian elephant inspector in Nanbanghe Village, Liushun Township, in the Simao District of the city, spotted bloodstains in a cornfield, on the road and in the grass on Tuesday.
"The elephant comes to eat corn almost every evening. When I patrolled the cornfield around 7 a.m., I smelled blood and found a pond contaminated by blood."
Yang then reported the situation to the local government. After 10 hours of searching, elephant inspectors found a piece of tusk in the grass and sent it to the natural resources public security bureau in the district.
Local policemen inspecting the broken tusk from a wild elephant living in a village in the city of Pu'er in Yunnan Province on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. [Photo: IC]
The tusk measures 70 cm-long and weighs 2.9 kg. Initial investigation shows that it broke off as a result of two Asian elephants playing fighting, said Li Li, an official with the bureau.
The elephant that lost the piece of tusk was identified as an adult Asian elephant that has lived in the township for years.
The elephant is known to play with another wild elephant that also lives in the area. The night before the tusk was found, villagers heard the elephants making strange noises.
This undated photo shows two wild elephants playing together in Yunnan Province. [FIle Photo: VCG]
"The physical condition of the two elephants is stable so far," Li said.
The local government has strengthened supervision over the elephant to learn what may have caused the tusk to break.
In China, wild Asian elephants mainly live in three prefectures and cities in Yunnan, with Xishuangbanna being home to the biggest population.
The species is under Class A protection in China and is listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.