China’s wandering wild elephant herd captivates the world
A group of wandering wild elephants, dubbed ‘The Northbound Wild Elephant Eating and Walking Tour’, became an internet overnight sensation in China and around the world. The pack first came to locals’ attention in March 2020, after suddenly leaving their home in the Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve.
While the original group compound 16 mammals, two decided to return home after a week. The others continued their journey north, stopping only for a short break in November 2020 to allow a newborn calf and its mother to to recover.
Since leaving the reserve, the elephants have traveled more than 310 miles (500 kilometers). Along the way, they plundered farms for food and water, crossed Urban streets, and even visited a car dealership and a retirement home. Thanks to vigilant In the eyes of government officials, no animals or people were harmed. However, the pachyderms destroyed more than a million dollars worth of crops.
Researchers don’t know why the elephants decided to leave or where they are heading. While pachyderms are known to leave their habitats in search of food, this is the longest migration wild elephants recorded in China. Because of extreme distance traveled, some speculate that elephants can be lost. Elephant expert Chen Mingyong said Xinhua News Agency that the herd leader “may be inexperienced and led the whole group lost.“
However, other scientists believe the elephants were forced to move due to Deforestation. To success preservation the efforts nearly doubled the elephant population in Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve and surrounding areas. However, their natural habitat has been substantially reduced to make way for agricultural development.
“We have seen elephants expand their range for decades as their populations grow and they search for more food for the growing herd,” said Becky Shu Chen, conservation project coordinator at the Zoological Society of London. the Washington Post. “You could say that the increase in farmland and plantations in their territory is, for elephants, like finding a big candy store, right on their doorstep.”
The wandering herd’s search for suitable accommodation has not gone unnoticed by the millions of locals who eagerly follow their daily movements on social media. Adam Chang, assigned to deliver food to the elephants, said, “Before that meet, I just felt curious about animals. Now I think I would volunteer in animal rights groups to preserve these giant creatures.
Resources: CNN.com, NPR.com, CCTV.com