In their march of chaos across southwestern China, a herd of wild Asian elephants has been captured on camera taking a nap after the 500km journey that has caused more than USD1 million in damages.
A 24-hour live feed has been launched by Chinese state television to be on the watch for the 15 elephants’ epic trek through homes, barns, and crops in the Yunnan province.
Footage from state broadcaster CCTV filmed on Monday shows the herd, tired from the adventures, curled up and taking a nap in a forest on the outskirts of the provincial capital Kunming.
At one point in the video, a calf on its back stirs in its sleep with its trunk and feet sprawled up in the air before hauling itself onto a sleeping adult and continuing to snooze again.
The epic adventures of the giant mammals have caught the attention of the nation, with hundreds of millions taking to social media to discuss their journey.
The elephants have been closely monitored by authorities as they go through the countryside. AFP reported that more than 400 people have been dispatched to ensure public safety and dozens of drones are now following their every step.
Convoys of trucks also lined up the roads to keep the herd away from densely populated areas, including the population of more than eight million people living nearby Kunming.
Villagers have also been warned by the local government not to leave corn or salt out in their yards that might attract the animals. Residents who live in the elephants’ path have also been evacuated and more than 2 tonnes of food have been distributed to feed the scavenging herd.
While the elephants’ expedition across the forest is fascinating, experts still don’t know why the group first migrated away from their original habitat, a nature preserve in the province.