In the Chinese province of Yunnan, located in the southwest of the country, more than 150,000 residents have been evacuated since April 2021 due to travelling wild elephants.
According to the Xinhua news agency, a herd of 15 Asian elephants protected at the highest state level began to migrate from Mojiang Hani Autonomous County in the spring.
The path of the animals passed too close to the villages. Since April 16, mammals have travelled more than 1,300 kilometres through Yuxi, Honghe, and Kunming counties. When elephants approached settlements, residents were temporarily relocated. To ensure the safety of people, the provincial authorities have deployed 25,000 police officers.
The regional headquarters for monitoring wild elephants used drones to monitor them, and employees left food along the way. In total, over 110 days of travel, the elephants ate 180 tons of food left by man.
Only about 300 Asian or Indian elephants live in the Chinese forests, so they are closely guarded. It is forbidden even to touch them.
The Chinese authorities reached an agreement with the government of border countries – Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar. They set up checkpoints with tons of food to change the direction of movement of elephants and not to evacuate the population of the villages. However, animals still appeared near the villages.
Scientists found out that elephants did not have enough food, so they decided to move north, where there is much fertile land.