Elephants to be guided to ideal habitat


Eye in the sky: Firefighters using drones to monitor the herd of wild Asian elephants in Yuxi city, Yunnan province. — China Daily/ANN

CHINA’S wildlife authorities said they plan to guide the wandering herd of wild Asian elephants in southwest China’s Yunnan Province to an appropriate habitat.

The elephant herd has caught global attention after they trekked about 500km from their original habitat in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in the province to enter Kunming, the provincial capital with a population of eight million, late last Wednesday.

On Saturday, 14 elephants continued to linger in the Shijie Township in the city of Yuxi, according to the headquarters in charge of monitoring their migration.

Another elephant that broke away from the herd eight days ago stayed in the Jinning District of Kunming.

The headquarters said they would direct the migration of the elephants with food bait and road blockades.

It also said it would take advantage of favourable conditions such as rainfall and temperature drops in recent days to move the jumbos back to their proper habitats.

Local authorities on Saturday mobilised 319 personnel, more than 600 vehicles and 18 drones to monitor the herd and prevent human-elephant conflicts.

A total of 3, 548 people were evacuated on Saturday.

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. — Xinhua

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