Xinhua Silk Road: China’s migrating elephant herd safe under protection in Yunnan Yuxi

Xinhua Silk Road: China’s migrating elephant herd safe under protection in Yunnan Yuxi

BEIJING, July 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The herd of 15 wandering wild Asian elephants currently lingering in Yuxi city, southwest China’s Yunnan Province are safe and sound under enhanced protection efforts made by local government and residents.

Photo taken on June 21, 2021 shows adult Asian elephants stand in rows to shade the little ones. (Photo provided by Cui Yonghong)
Photo taken on June 21, 2021 shows adult Asian elephants stand in rows to shade the little ones. (Photo provided by Cui Yonghong)

Asian elephants are primarily found in Yunnan and are under A-level state protection in China. They are the largest and most representative terrestrial vertebrate in Asia.

The migrating animals have caught global attention after they traveled about 500 kilometers north from their forest home in southern Yunnan’s Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture before reaching the provincial capital Kunming on June 2 via Pu’er city and Yuxi city. They returned to Yuxi on June 8 and are continuing heading southeast within Yuxi.

To ensure the safety of both the elephants and residents, the government of Yuxi has carried out all-weather monitoring to track the movement of the herd, put in place precautions, and used food to distract them from entering densely populated areas.

Meanwhile, to prevent the elephants from entering the city and villages, special fleets consisting of hundreds of trucks have been dispatched to block the herd at key intersections.

It is noted that the lingering of the Asian elephants could be attributed to Yuxi’s efforts in promoting ecological development and maintaining biodiversity as well as its dedication to preparing for the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15) scheduled to be held in October in Kunming.

Endowed with mild climate due to its location, Yuxi has over 99 percent excellence rate of air quality in downtown area and 64.1 percent of forest coverage rate. The city is home to 735 terrestrial wild animal species and 2,394 species of higher plants, including 31 wild plants that are under national protection.

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