BEIJING, China — After voyaging for more than 300 miles across China, rest is surely needed!
A little more than a year ago, a herd of fifteen elephants decided to leave their wildlife reserve in the southwest of Yunnan province. They have since traveled 300 miles north to the outskirts of the provincial capital of Kunming.
What started out as only local attention has now become international as people around the world have become intrigued by the movements of the herd.
The gang of 15 became an internet sensation while people all over the world watched drone footage of them embarking on their journey.
The herd initially consisted of 15 elephants - including three calves, but one male has left them, straying about 7.5 miles away from the main herd, according to China's state media.
New video shows the herd fast asleep while a calf squirms wide awake in the middle. This is the first time that the elephants were spotted all napping together since the start of them being monitored.
There is no certainty in why the elephants have decided to venture out or where they may be going.
Evan Sun, wildlife campaign manager with World Animal Protection, told the Associated Press, that a lack of food, a rise in the elephant population, and the loss of habitat could factor into why the elephants chose to migrate.
As they continue to roam the outskirts of the major Yunnan city, which is home to more than 8 million people, authorities have blocked roads that lead into villages and lured the elephants away with food drops.
Although these efforts have been made, the herd still managed to raid farms, freely stroll down city streets, break into some houses, and even take water and food from shops. However, there have been no human injuries.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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