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World News

Herd of elephants cause $1m worth of damage as they trek more than 300 miles across China

today03/06/2021

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A herd of elephants have trekked 311 miles (500km) through China causing a reported $1m (£709,000) of damage.

It is unknown why the 15 grey beasts made the journey – which started at a protected nature reserve – although it is thought a lack of food in an area with elephant populations now increasing may have played a factor.

The animals were most recently seen on the outskirts of Kunming, a city of around seven million people and the capital of Yunnan province – which borders Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar.

The animals have caused around $1m in damage. Pic: Xinhua via AP
Image: The animals have caused about $1m in damage. Pic: Xinhua via AP

According to China‘s state news agency Xinhua, residents have been told not to leave corn or other food outside their homes overnight to attract the elephants.

Contact with the animals has been prohibited, and it was also “forbidden to surround and gawk at the elephants” or disturb them with firecrackers.

More on China

The herd has been spotted spotted in urban areas. Pic: Eshan County Fang Yuan Car Care Center/ via Reuters
Image: The herd has been spotted spotted in urban areas. Pic: Eshan County Fang Yuan Car Care Center/ via Reuters

Initially there were 16 elephants, but two returned to their home region and one was born on the trip.

Authorities have been monitoring the herd with drones, and there are currently thought to be six adult females, three adult males, three juveniles and three calves.

It is not clear why the beasts embarked on the mammoth walk – which started in the southwest of Yunnan province.

The herd is being observed with drones. Pic: Xinhua via AP
Image: The herd is being observed with drones. Pic: Xinhua via AP

Since they departed the area, the herd have trampled through rural areas and down highways, causing an estimated $1m in damage – although no injuries have been recorded.

One city which the animals neared, Yuxi, sent hundreds of trucks to block the roads to discourage a visit from the elephants, according to local media reports.

And the Jimu News website reported that the herd stumbled across a retirement home – at which point they started sticking their trunks into rooms. One elderly man had to hide under a bed, the site said.

The beasts have walked around 500km. Pic Xinhua via AP
Image: The beasts have walked around 500km. Pic: Xinhua via AP

The authorities are trying to lure the animals away from people with food, as they try to protect both the creatures and humans.

It is not clear what, if any, plans there were to return the elephants to their home.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News


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today03/06/2021