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Farmers Claim Compensation for Crops Ravaged by Elephants

03 February 2010

CHINA - Dozens of Chinese farmers are claiming compensation for crop damage caused by wild Asian elephants last month.

The 83 farmers in the south-west of the country are seeking around 55,000 yuan (£5,047) in insurance in the first claims filed since the establishment of new cover for losses caused by the animals.

An insurance scheme to ease the conflict between wild animals and residents was set up in November 2009 by the Xishuangbanna Natural Reserve and China Pacific Insurance Group Xishaungbanna branch.

Some 2.85 million yuan was paid in premiums and the insurance company will cover all damage caused by wild Asian elephants this year, up to a maximum compensation limit of 30 million yuan.

"The number of wild animals has increased after all these years of efforts to protect them, but they have caused more trouble for local residents," said Yang Songhai, director of the Xishuangbanna Natural Reserve Administration.

He claimed that economic losses caused by wild Asian elephants in the past 36 months averages out to six million yuan each year.

Asian elephants, which have become extinct in many areas and only survive in isolated pockets, are herbivores, feeding on leaves, stems, fruit, grassed and bark.

TheCropSite News Desk

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