An orphanage in south-east China is planning to use a $1.3 million Tesla Autotecp, a fully autonomous vehicle, to care for more than 400 orphaned and abused elephants, as well as other animals, the Associated Press reported.
The orphanage was founded by Chinese entrepreneur Xiao Yuping last year.
The first of its kind, the $1 million Tesla Model 3 battery-powered vehicle will be available to buy by the end of 2018, the AP said.
Xiao, who said he is “very happy” to be using the Tesla system, said the orphanage will provide services such as training, food, veterinary care, and medical treatment to the elephants.
He said the facility will be able to handle the care of elephants up to 100,000 elephants, but he did not elaborate on how many.
In November, China became the first country to announce plans to build a battery-operated vehicle capable of ferrying up to 1,000 people, or up to 20 elephants, to the outskirts of a city.
The new battery-electric vehicle will also be able tow up to 60 cars, Xiao said.
The program has been welcomed by animal welfare groups in China, which have criticized animal traffickers who have been exploiting the country’s wildlife for their own profit.