China's migrating elephant herd heads further southwest

2021-06-12 08:24:58Xinhua Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

The wandering wild Asian elephant herd that has caught global attention has headed 8.12 km further southwest in Shijie Township in the city of Yuxi, southwest China's Yunnan Province.

A male elephant, which broke free from the herd six days ago, is now about 16 km away in a forest in Anning, a county-level city in the provincial capital of Kunming. All the elephants are safe and sound.

Continuous rainfall and bigger crowds during the Dragon Boat Festival holiday are complicating efforts to monitor the elephants and take safety precautions.

Authorities have dispatched emergency staff, vehicles and drones to help evacuate and protect local residents, while ensuring the safety of the elephants. They fed 2.5 tonnes of food to the animals on Friday.

The herd traveled approximately 500 km from their forest home in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture before reaching Kunming late last Wednesday.

For over a month, authorities have sent police to escort the herd, evacuated roads to facilitate their passage and used food to distract them from entering densely populated areas.

Asian elephants are under A-level state protection in China, where they are mostly found in Yunnan. Thanks to enhanced protection efforts, the wild elephant population in the province has grown to about 300, up from 193 in the 1980s.


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