Wild Asian elephants enjoy Spring Festival at Yunnan's Wild Elephant Valley
CGTN
01:59

Wild Asian elephants are celebrating their own Spring Festival at the Wild Elephant Valley.

A group of wild Asian elephants at the Wild Elephant Valley in southwestern China's Yunnan Province. /VCG Photo

A group of wild Asian elephants at the Wild Elephant Valley in southwestern China's Yunnan Province. /VCG Photo

Spring Festival is not only the most significant holiday in China, it also is the peak time for wild elephants to converge on the valley from Pu'er City and Xishuangbanna in Yunnan Province.

A wild Asian elephant calf enjoys a bath with its parents at the Wild Elephant Valley. /VCG Photo

A wild Asian elephant calf enjoys a bath with its parents at the Wild Elephant Valley. /VCG Photo

"The wild elephants like to come to our valley every Spring Festival because the food is abundant and no one disturbs them. Therefore, the number of wild elephants during Spring Festival is higher than normal. We saw 44 elephants on Friday," said Yan Hanlu, head of the observation team of Asian elephants in the valley.

A wild Asian elephant encounters a group of chickens. /VCG Photo

A wild Asian elephant encounters a group of chickens. /VCG Photo

The wild elephants in the valley consist of five herds, all of which include elephant calves. The largest group consists of 17 elephants, and the smallest is a single male elephant.

These wild elephants hang around in the valley, bathing and playing with each other in the river.

An Asian elephant family. /VCG Photo

An Asian elephant family. /VCG Photo

"Unlike tigers, the wild elephant will not fight for territory. Once they've had enough to eat and drink, they'll split into groups and walk away. They like to switch places and have interactions with each other," said Yan.

Asian elephants are listed as endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and are under first-class state protection in China.

An Asian elephant enjoys its meal. /VCG Photo

An Asian elephant enjoys its meal. /VCG Photo

During the dry season from February to April, when there is less food and water in the mountains, wild elephants head to the valley for food. About 40 to 50 will show up in a day.

Local forestry and other departments have reminded the surrounding residents to help in the protection of wild elephants and to avoid human-elephant conflicts.

(Cover image shows two wild Asian elephants via VCG.)