Chinese wandering elephant becomes an international star

Beijing — Already famous domestically, the Chinese wandering elephant is now becoming an international star.

Major global media have recorded more than a year of herd trekking from their homes in a wildlife sanctuary in the mountainous region of southwestern Yunnan to the suburbs of Kunming, the provincial capital.

Twitter and YouTube show their various calves, especially two calves, slipping into an irrigation ditch and helped by older members of the group.

“We should be more elephant-like, more family-oriented, family vacations, help each other, care for each other, and protect each other,” read one comment on YouTube, which signed MrDeterministicchaos. Please.

Elephants have been trending for days on China’s Weibo microblogging service, with photos of sleeping groups gathering 25,000 posts and 200 million views on Monday night.

A herd of 15 people is trotro security cameras on the streets of the city at night and is constantly photographed from the air by more than 12 drones, minimizing damage and endangering both pachydermata and people. There are a lot of people trying to keep them away.

They raided the farm for food and water, visited car dealerships, stopped at elderly housing with care, plunged trunks into some rooms, and hid an old man under his bed.

No animals or humans are injured, but crop damage is reportedly over $ 1 million.

A herd of moving elephants
A herd of moving elephants roaming the neighborhood of Kunming, Yunnan Province, southwestern China, June 4, 2021 (Yunnan Forest Fire Brigade via AP)

Originally there were 16 animals in the group, but the government states that two have returned home and one baby was born during the walk. According to official reports, the herd currently consists of 6 females and 3 males, 3 juveniles and 3 calves.

The motivations for their epic journey remain a mystery, but they are attracted to delicious, abundant, and readily available crops, especially in the lush tropics of around 300 people, such as corn and tropical fruits. I seem to feel it. Animal’s. Others speculate that the leader was simply lost.

According to Niranga Jayashinha, Asian Elephant Conservation Manager at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Asian elephants are habitat-friendly and can move in the absence of upset, resource loss or development.

“In this case, I’m not sure why they left the home range, but over the last few decades, agriculture and the conversion of forests within it to plantations have resulted in significant habitat loss. I know that, “writes Jayashinha. Email. “What could have happened here was that I lost my way and kept walking while looking for a new habitat.”

Authorities are working to avoid negative interactions, “here we must decide on the next best step to keep human-elephant clashes away,” Jayashinha wrote.

Kunming will host a conference of parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to discuss topics such as the conflict between humans and wildlife, “This is a problem for the benefit of both wildlife and wildlife. It’s an example of the importance of addressing the root cause in real time. People, “she wrote.

A herd of moving elephants
On June 7, 2021, a herd of moving elephants is resting in Kunming, Yunnan Province, southwestern China. (Yunnan Forest Fire Brigade via AP)

So far, more passive means have been used to keep them away from urban areas, such as parking trucks and construction machinery to block roads and dropping food to lure them.

As of Tuesday, the herd remained on the outskirts of Kunming, with a population of 7 million, but one of the males moved on its own, adding more excitement and anxiety to those trying to monitor them.

The elephants appear to be resting, with more than 410 emergency and police personnel, dozens of vehicles, and 14 vehicles, according to a Monday statement from a state command center set up to monitor the group. Drones were deployed for surveillance. Local residents were evacuated, temporary traffic restrictions were enforced, and two tons of elephant food were provided.

Another objective was “to maintain silence to create conditions that would guide a group of elephants to move west and south,” the command center said.

Asian elephants, the largest terrestrial animal on the continent, are declining overall, with less than 50,000 wild elephants. Along with habitat poaching and population isolation, loss and associated human-wildlife clashes pose their greatest threat.

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