The group of 14 elephants have spent the last few days searching for food in the town of Yuxi. The animals recently left the farm field they were in and started on their way back home, collect local media. The authorities assure that all were in good condition and posed no threat.
In March last year, this herd left a nature reserve in Xishuangbanna – in southern Yunnan – and began a journey north. For much of their journey, the elephants went almost unnoticed. However, as they passed through agricultural areas and inhabited towns, they caused uproar, damage to homes, and damage to crops.
Throughout all this time, the authorities monitored the herd’s journey through cameras and drones 24 hours a day. Dozens of forestry specialists and volunteers participated to prevent the animals from causing damage in their path, seeking to redirect them by offering them food.
The causes that have led the group of animals to mobilize in this way are still unknown. Zhang Li, professor of mammal conservation at Peking Normal University, assures that the exodus of the elephant family may be consequence of human activity and irresponsible urban sprawl, which could cause this displacement phenomenon to be more frequent.
Asian elephants mainly inhabit the south and southeast of the continent and have been on the red list of threatened species since 1986. The ‘Elephas maximus’ is under strict protection in China, where it mainly occupies parts of southern Yunnan.