Elephants at wild locations in China

6 wild locations has kept elephants in China
There is presently 88 (0,1) living elephants in wild locations in China (in this database)

Region: China is in this database included in asiaOther regions
Wild elephants:

China has about 186 (min. 178, max. 193) wild elephants. Source:Zhang (2011)

Location holdings:

6 wild locations has kept 95 elephants in China

(Database tables with collection of elephants further down on the page)

Elephants in wild locations88 (0,1) living7 (7,0) dead
Sex ratio and
 Male  0 / 88  0%
 Female  1 / 88 
 Free contact  0 / 88  0%
 Protected contact  0 / 88  0%
 No contact  0 / 88  0%
 Unknown contact  0 / 88  0%
 wild  88 / 88 

2008: 200-250 (Sukumar 2008)
1996: 330-370 (Santiapillai, IUCN 1996)

Small but viable herds live in southern Yunnan province. Numbers are rising, thanks to reproduction and immigration of Laos herds.

China is also a large illegal manufacturer and trader of ivory, mostly from African elephants, although some Ivory is also imported leagally.

In July 2008, the Commission on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) allowed a once-off sale of 108 tons of ivory stockpile from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Zambia to China.

2012-2020: Since 2012, China has imported more than 100 from Zimbabwe to keep in zoos and circuses. They are said to sell for up to $90,000 (£73,600) each.


in 1995, four people were executed for poaching elephants for their tusks. Since then, no poaching cases have been reported. (source)

Captive population

All captive elephants are registered under the State Forestry Administration, which is the key governmental agency responsible for wildlife conservation and management. Elephants in zoos are under the management of the Ministry
of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan, Facts about elephants in China. Elephant Encyclopedia, (2021) available online retrieved at https://www.elephant.se/country.php?name=China.
(archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources, among others

Internal relevant links

  • The elephant database startpage. Statistics
  • News about elephants in China (From the sister site Elephant News)

  • NameElephant collectionTypePlaceDistrictProvinceStateRegion
    Menglang Protected Area
    Kept totally 24 elephants
    , 24 present (0,0)24 births0 relocated0 deathswildXishuangbannaYunnan province
    Mengyang forest area
    Kept totally 4 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)19 births4 relocated0 deathswildXishuangbanna
    Yunnan province
    Nanguanhe Nature Reserve
    Kept totally 0 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathswildLincangYunnan province
    Puer prefecture
    Kept totally 5 elephants
    , 5 present (0,1)1 births0 relocated0 deathswildPuer city
    Yunnan province
    Shangyong Nature Reserve
    Kept totally 66 elephants
    , 59 present (0,0)66 births0 relocated7 deathswildXishuangbannaYunnan province
    Yunnan province unspecified forest
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)1 births1 relocated0 deathswild
    Yunnan province

    This document was updated: 2013-04-21 08:08:49

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