A drone-captured image of wild Asian elephants that were spotted at a nature reserve in Xishuangbanna Dai autonomous prefecture, Yunnan province. [Photo/Xinhua] Eighteen wild Asian elephants were spotted in a nature reserve in the Xishuangbanna Dai autonomous prefecture of Southwest China's Yunnan province, local authorities said on Dec 3. The trumpeting of wild elephants was first heard by a forest ranger in a village near the Menglun subsidiary nature reserve on Nov 12. Their footprints were later discovered. Two days later, drones and infrared cameras captured footage of the herd, which included 11 adult elephants and seven calves, according to Wang Bo, deputy head of the Menglun management and protection station. It has been 41 years since wild Asian elephants were first spotted in the Menglun subsidiary nature reserve, according to the station. The station has carried out real-time monitoring and early warnings of elephant activities in the area. It also publicizes safety information to villages and at scenic areas within its jurisdiction. Since 1958, Yunnan has established 11 national or regional-level nature reserves in the tropics, covering a total area of about 510,000 hectares, providing shelter for the Asian elephants.