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15 Elephants Escape Nature Reserve, Cause 500 km of Destruction in China

Image Credits: Twitter/@CarlZha

Image Credits: Twitter/@CarlZha

According to authorities, the rampant clan started their journey in March 2020 and took a stop in Yunnan’s Pu’er.

A herd of 15 wild Asian elephants, a protected species in the country, escaped from a nature reserve in south-western China in March, last year. Since then, they have created a lot of destruction by smashing barns and eating whole fields of corn.

According to The Guardian, wild elephants were spotted meandering through the residential area. It is estimated that the trail of destruction is up to 500 km outside their natural reserve. Several videos of the elephants have surfaced online, in which they are seen ruining crops and forests that come in their way. According to the authorities, the clan has destroyed 56 hectares of crops, causing an estimated $1.07m in losses.

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It is still unclear that how come the rampant clan escaped from Xishuangbanna national nature reserve in Yunnan province. But since they left the reserve, the clan has covered 500 km in their journey. And is being closely monitored by authorities to ensure public safety.

So far, no casualties have been reported as the locals are guiding the elephants with food and blocking roads, with trucks, which head to residential areas. China’s state media reported that the wild animals are 20km away from the provincial capital of Kunming, which is home to millions of people.

The government had immediately set off a task force, including 360 first responders, 76 cars, and nine drones to monitor the elephants. According to authorities, the rampant clan started their journey in March 2020. They further took a stop in Yunnan’s Pu’er. Wild elephants settled there for 5-6 months as one of the females gave birth to babies. And after months, they have started their journey all over again.

Drone footages revealed that there are 3 male adults, 6 females, 3 juveniles, and 3 calves in the clan.

#WhyElephantsTrekkingNorth has been trending on Twitter, as people were left wondering the reason why wild Asian elephants in China are moving towards the urban settlement.

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first published:June 03, 2021, 14:06 IST