A herd of elephants has already roamed 500 km across the country and has already caused extensive damage. State TV now follows her every step of the way.
A herd of wild elephants is currently working to keep southern China busy. 15 elephants have been walking through Yunnan Province for more than a year – and they have already covered about 500 kilometers. The road leads you steadily through villages, forest areas, cities and across highways. Now the herd is outside Kunming.
According to experts, this is the longest measured elephant migration ever recorded in China. But what drove the animals to migrate is tumultuous for the researchers.”The New York TimesA mystery. Are you looking for food? Are you lost? Or is the herd just looking for adventure?
One thing is for sure: the herd of elephants leaves a trail of devastation. The damage done is said to amount to about one million francs. The animals are said to have trampled on barns and cornfields, among other things. It was reported that one elephant got drunk after eating fermented grains. It is said that elephants drank two tons of water at a Chinese car dealer. The herd also devoured truckloads of corn and pineapple that government officials used to redirect the elephants to less densely populated areas.
The emergency is entertaining the internet
After footage of the herd surfaced on social media last week, the elephants are a huge hit online. State TV has been watching her every move for days. By Wednesday, the hashtag #WhyElephantsTrekkingNorth (German: Why elephants migrate north) had been viewed more than 16 million times on Chinese microblogging service Weibo.
But while entertaining the public with migrating elephants, the government has ordered residents to stay away from the animals. No one has been harmed by the herd yet – but in the past 10 years there have been more than 50 incidents with Asian elephants, according to state media.
The herd, which originally consisted of 16 elephants, left its home – a nature reserve on the southwestern border of China – in April last year. However, since it is quite normal for elephants to move around in search of food, the forces did not attract much attention at first.
About two months ago, the elephants were finally spotted about 370 kilometers north of the nature reserve. The herd now consists of 15 elephants, as some of the elephants were back at this point, but elephant calves have also arrived. Only then did researchers and government officials notice the distance the herd had migrated in the shortest possible time.
The reason for the “elephant march” is not clear
Researchers are concerned about the question of why protected elephants leave their home for so long. According to experts, the growing number of Chinese elephants may have become too small due to deforestation. While only about 170 wild elephants lived in China in 1980, there are now about 300 of them, mostly in southern Yunnan province. to me “Global Times“At the same time, the habitat area has decreased from 2,084 square kilometers in 1976 to less than 500 square kilometers in recent years.
“The traditional buffer zones between humans and elephants are gradually disappearing, and the probability that elephants naturally encounter humans is greatly increasing,” said Zhang Li, professor of mammal protection at Beijing Normal University.Global Times».
According to Ahimsa Campos-Arsis, a senior researcher at the Xishuangbana Tropical Botanical Garden, the elephants’ increasing proximity to humans has in fact encouraged them to make this journey. “Smart elephants would now also have noticed that fields in inhabited areas provide much more food than forests in nature reserves,” he said.The New York Times». However, the elephant researcher has no explanation for why the elephants walk yet and why they are not sedentary.
Chinese officials have now drawn up a “preventive plan for elephant accidents.” They are following the elephants’ journey with 12 drones and have sent hundreds of workers to evacuate residents, set up emergency barriers and provide tons of food. However, there is no long-term plan for migratory elephants.