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China's wandering elephant herd travels further west

Updated: 2021-06-21


The wandering elephant herd is seen from above. [Photo/WeChat account of Yunnan University]

As of June 15, China's herd of 14 wandering wild Asian elephants had been staying in Yimen county in Southwest China's Yunnan province for more than a week, according to Chen Mingyong, a science professor at Yunnan University.

Of which, the elephants had been active in the vicinity of Nanshan village for five days, covering an area of about 4.5 square kilometers.

Based on previous migration trajectories of the elephants, they would rarely stay in the same place for more than two days. The reason they are staying in Yimen county is because it has a relatively suitable environment. 

Investigations found that the altitude of the county is between 1,066 meters and 2,364 meters, and it has a mid-subtropical monsoon climate. The plantain, rice, and corn grown by local villagers are among Asian elephant's favorite foods.

A male elephant, which strayed on June 5, was spotted around 20 kilometers away from the rest of the herd.

Information shows that the herd, originally comprising of 16 elephants, left their forest home in the Xishuangbanna National Natural Reserve in Yunnan province in March 2020 and traveled about 500 kilometers northward before reaching Kunming, the provincial capital, on June 2.

The herd has now traveled further south to Eshan county, also in Yunnan province.

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