(ECNS) -- The herd of wandering elephants has been staying in Yimen County for over a week since they left Jinning in Kunming and entered Yimen in Yuxi, Yunnan Province on June 5.
At present, the elephants sleep in the forest during the day, and come down to the village at night to forage, leaving many traces in the village after passing by.
The reason behind the elephant herd's lingering is probably that it is a river valley, where the weather is hotter and the food is abundant, said Shen Qingzhong, a senior engineer at the Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve Management Bureau.
Bananas, corn and other foods that elephants like grow there, he added.
Local authorities continued taking advantage of favorable conditions such as rainfall and temperature drop to help the elephants gradually return to suitable habitats through scientific and proper feeding methods.
When will China's herd of wandering elephants head southward?
According to an expert, Yuxi's climate is hot and humid in summer, and it is the season when crops grow. The climate here is similar to that in Xishuangbanna and there is plenty of food. So, after days of observation, the herd was in no hurry to move.
In addition, the arrival of the rainy season makes it difficult for the elephants to cross the swollen river if they have to move southward.
"Our preliminary judgment is that the elephants may not be able to go back until the entire rainy season ends, because there is Red River. It may be difficult for the herd to cross. The water in Red River has started to rise right now, but the baby elephant is only a few months old, so the rapid current could be dangerous for these calves," said Chen Mingyong, professor at School of Biology and Environment in Yunnan University.