Government officials in Jinghong, in Yunnan province of southwest China, have created a 670,000 square meter “food court” for migrating elephants.
According to The Independent, the hope is that the elephants can enjoy the food planted for them, rather than relying on farmer’s crops or otherwise causing conflicts with humans.
The food area is in the Jinghong Nature Reserve and is full of a variety of plants that are beneficial to elephants’ health, as well as five salty ponds.
Each year, elephants walk to new areas as part of a migration. Usually, they move a little over 60 miles, according to Africa Geographic.
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Being animals, they have no concept of land ownership and have been known to cause problems by eating farmers’ fields and destroying crops. They tend to do this when they’re hungry, so it’s hoped that the food court area will prevent these same conflicts.
Asian elephants in Jinghong are a protected species, and their numbers have grown from just 85 to 185. With the growing population has been a growing number of conflicts with locals, particularly during migration.
The food court area was finished in May of this year and should serve as the perfect habitat for elephants to feast.
It’s awesome to see officials working to create solutions for human-animal conflicts that are based in sustainability and ethics!Whizzco