China's migrating elephants move slightly northeast

2021-06-28 08:08:12Xinhua Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

The herd of 14 wandering wild Asian elephants in southwest China's Yunnan Province headed about 1.9 km northeast after five consecutive days of southward migration, authorities said Sunday.

From 5 p.m. Saturday to the same time on Sunday, the herd headed northeast by a roundabout route and largely remained in the forest area of Tadian Township under Yuxi City, the headquarters in charge of monitoring the elephants' migration said.

A male elephant, which strayed 22 days ago, is now 53 km away from the herd in the Hongta District of Yuxi City.

The animals have traveled about 500 km north from their forest home in southern Yunnan's Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, reaching the provincial capital Kunming on June 2.

The back-and-forth movement of the elephants has posed challenges for on-site command and coordination of their migration. Authorities have called on local townships to strengthen coordination to clear the path for elephants heading back to the south.

Precautions have been in place to ensure the safety of both the animals and residents for over a month. On Sunday, 249 people were mobilized, 864 residents evacuated, and 150 kg of food was provided to the elephants.

Asian elephants are primarily found in Yunnan and are under A-level state protection in China. Thanks to enhanced protection efforts, the wild elephant population in the province grew to about 300, up from 193 in the 1980s. 

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