Wild elephants attack in SW China, injure American tourist

Updated: 2008-01-27 13:45

KUNMING - An American tourist was seriously injured after he was apparently attacked by wild Asian elephants roaming in a nature reserve in Southwest China's Yunnan Province on Thursday, officials confirmed on Sunday.

Jeremy Allen McGill, who teaches English at Huazhong Agricultural University in the central Chinese city of Wuhan and arrived in Xishuangbanna for sightseeing on Wednesday, was under intensive care at the central hospital in the Dai Autonomous Prefecture of Xishuangbanna, the foreign affairs office in Xishuangbanna said.

McGill was found lying unconsciously on the ground at the "Wild Elephant Valley", a nature reserve 50 km from the nearest city of Jinghong, at 7 pm on Thursday, said Li Ling, a security guard.

"He was seriously wounded in the belly, apparently by elephants," said Li, who was patrolling the area. "Three elephants were roaming within 20 meters from where he was."

McGill received several operations on Thursday night. Doctors said he was also injured in the lungs and had several fractured ribs.

Officials from the Huazhong Agricultural University, who arrived in Yunnan on Friday, said they were trying to get in touch with McGill's family.

The "Wild Elephant Valley" is a 370-hectare reserve featuring tropical forests, wild birds and animals. It has at least 30 wild elephants and was named one of China's 50 most recommended destinations for foreign tourists in 2006.

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