A wandering elephant herd continued their journey on Monday in the suburbs of Kunming, Yunnan Province in southwestern China.
According to state television CCTV, the 15 elephants that emerged from rural Yunnan province last week and traveled 500 kilometers (300 miles) to Jinning, the city’s third-largest district, were still there Monday morning.
Heavy rain and chilly temperatures kept the elephants from traveling far and confined them to a small region in Jinning District’s Xiyang Township.
A male adult elephant departed his herd on Sunday afternoon and made his way northeast to a space 1.5 kilometers distant from the rest of his companions and hasn’t returned yet.
CCTV reported that the departure of the male elephant prompted authorities to reconsider the herd’s potential migration routes and create backup plans.
The elephants were being closely tracked by a task force of hundreds of people, trucks, and a dozen drones.
The goal is guiding them to the west or southwest, away from populated areas and toward more remote state regions.
It’s unclear why the elephant herd, composed of six female and three male adults, three juveniles, and three calves, left their home in southern Yunnan’s Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture.
They’ve been seen meandering through farmland and villages and appear in excellent condition in photographs and videos.
Even though elephants have not harmed anyone, media reports claim that they have damaged or destroyed more than $1 million worth of crops.