Home Global News China tries to keep herd of elephants out of city of 7...

China tries to keep herd of elephants out of city of 7 million

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BEIJING – A herd of 15 wild elephants walking 500 kilometers (300 miles) from a nature reserve in China’s mountainous southwest headed for the major city of Kunming on Wednesday, as officials moved them away from populated areas. trying to keep out.

Chinese wildlife officials say they do not know why the herd left a nature reserve last year near the town of Pu’er, an area known for tea cultivation. There were 16 animals in the group, but the government says two returned home and a baby was born during the walk.

Authorities blocked traffic on roads while elephants were crossing and setting up barriers and using food to keep them away from Kunming and other populated areas.

The official Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday the herd was in Yuxi, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Kunming, a city of seven million people. It said images taken by the drone used to track the herd showed six female and three male adults, three juveniles and three calves.

Chen Mingyong, an Asian elephant expert cited by Xinhua, said the incident was the longest-distance migration of wild elephants recorded in China. Chen said it is possible that their leader “lacked experience and led the whole group astray.”

A task force of 360 people, along with 76 cars and nine drones, was tracking the elephants, Xinhua news agency said.

According to Xinhua, last week, elephants roamed the streets of Ishan city for six hours after residents were warned to stay indoors.

According to Xinhua, the damage to the farm by elephants is estimated at 6.8 million yuan ($1.1 million).

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