'Heartbroken' elephant goes on rampage in China

A screengrab of a video showing the elephant on a rampage. Zhusunya, a male Asian elephant which had lost a fight over a mate, wandered out of a national park and onto a road in Yunnan province. It damaged 14 cars last Friday, and another four over t
A screengrab of a video showing the elephant on a rampage. Zhusunya, a male Asian elephant which had lost a fight over a mate, wandered out of a national park and onto a road in Yunnan province. It damaged 14 cars last Friday, and another four over the course of an hour on Sunday.PHOTO: YOUTUBE

BEIJING • A "heartbroken" elephant destroyed nearly 20 cars near a Chinese nature reserve after losing a fight for a mate over the Valentine's Day weekend, local media reported.

The angry pachyderm wandered out of a national park and onto a road in Yunnan province, proceeding to smash and dent visitors' cars in a fit of jealous pique, according to Xinhua news agency.

In a video, Zhusunya, a male Asian elephant whose name translates to "Bamboo Teeth", pushed and hit a vehicle, provoking shouts of surprise from bystanders.

It damaged 14 cars during the rampage last Friday, and another four over the course of an hour on Sunday. There was no estimate of the total damage, but Xinhua said visitors would be compensated.

As of last year, fewer than 250 wild Asian elephants are believed to exist in China. They are primarily in Yunnan - in the south-west - which is part of a habitat that extends into neighbouring Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar, according to a study by China's National Nature Science Foundation.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 16, 2016, with the headline ''Heartbroken' elephant goes on rampage in China'. Print Edition | Subscribe