Aerial photo taken on June 14, 2021 shows a herd of wild Asian elephants in Shijie Township of Yimen County, Yuxi City, southwest China's Yunnan Province. (Xinhua)
KUNMING, June 15 (Xinhua) -- The wandering wild Asian elephant herd that has caught global attention has headed 1.3 km northwest in Shijie Township in the city of Yuxi, in southwest China's Yunnan Province.
A male elephant, which strayed 10 days ago, is now about 19.1 km away from the herd, and all the 15 elephants are safe and sound, according to the headquarters in charge of monitoring their migration.
The animals have entered forests after taking food from farmland, complicating the efforts to guide and monitor them and take safety precautions.
The herd traveled about 500 km from their forest home in the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture before reaching Kunming, the provincial capital, late on June 2.
For over a month, authorities have sent police to escort the herd, evacuated roads to facilitate their passage, and used food to distract them from entering densely populated areas.
Asian elephants, which are mostly found in Yunnan, are under A-level state protection in China. Thanks to enhanced protection efforts, the wild elephant population in the province has grown to about 300, up from 193 in the 1980s. ■