An elephant herd which turned a social media sensation with its year-long journey into urbanised components of southern China seems to be heading again residence.
The Asian elephants have been monitored all through their journey utilizing drones, with footage being considered by lots of of hundreds of thousands of individuals.
The group has been guided throughout the Yuanjiang river in Yunnan and a path is being opened for them to return to the character reserve the place they lived within the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture.
The 14 elephants had been in Yuanjiang County on Sunday night time and nonetheless round 125 miles (200km) from the reserve, which they left greater than a 12 months in the past for unknown causes.
The herd, which has ventured into farms and even a retirement residence for meals, roamed greater than 300 miles (483km) north and has been adopted by a chosen staff involving greater than 400 personnel aided by numerous automobiles and 14 drones.
The Nationwide Forestry and Grassland Administration stated the animals are in a “appropriate habitat” after crossing the river.
The provincial authorities stated the herd’s progress was vital and officers would proceed to work on returning the elephants again to their pure habitat.
Throughout their lengthy journey, roads had been evacuated so they may move safely and meals was additionally utilized by the authorities to steer them away from populated areas.
After reaching the outskirts of Kunming, a centre for enterprise and tourism, they turned south once more, however are nonetheless removed from the reserve.
One male that turned separated from the herd was subsequently tranquillised and returned to the reserve.
Asian elephants are among the many most extremely protected animals in China and their inhabitants has grown to round 300, even whereas their habitat has shrunk due to expanded farming and concrete progress.
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