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The worker, Li Niusha, is in a stable condition after 11 of his ribs were fractured in the attack in Xishuangbanna in Yunnan province, the news website Thepaper.cn reported.
Li was removing weeds to expand the rubber plantation in Mengyang township last Saturday afternoon when he ran into a group of about six wild elephants.
Li fled for his life, but one of the elephants rushed at him and attacked.
He crawled to a nearby river and a fisherman came to his aid, the report said.
The authorities were quoted as saying that the attack took place in an area where the elephants were looking for food.