Herd of elephants enter busy Chinese city after 500km journey

A herd of elephants walk along a road in Eshan, Yunan, China, photo: still from video Eshan County Fang Yuan Car Care Center/ via Reuters
A herd of elephants walk along a road in Eshan, Yunan, China, photo: still from video Eshan County Fang Yuan Car Care Center/ via Reuters

A herd of 15 wild elephants entered the city of Kunming, the capital of China’s Yunnan province, on Wednesday.

Since April, six female adult elephants, three male adults, three young adults, and three cubs have traveled a 500km journey from their home, the Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve in Yunnan province.

It is not known where the Asian elephants, a protected species in China, are heading. Experts said that it is rare for them to wander so far.

The elephants are being closely followed by authorities to prevent human-elephant conflict when they enter the city of Kunming, where around 8 million people live.

Authorities and locals tried to guide the animals in a different direction with food and by blocking roads with trucks.

While it is unclear why the elephants are moving north, the Xinhua news agency said that a decline in edible plants in forests has made it more difficult for the animals to feed themselves and their kids.

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