People Have Fallen In Love With This Herd Of Wild Elephants Looking For A New Habitat In China

More than 150,000 people were evacuated from homes in the elephants' path, but the animals have become local darlings as fans track their progress.

In April, a herd of 15 elephants in China meandered more than 800 miles from the city of Pu'er to the city of Kunming in June, gaining legions of fans along the way.

The herd, which officials said was finally reaching a protected habitat in southwest China's Yunnan province, had been migrating in search of food and a home, though no one knew exactly where they were going. According to Reuters, state protection efforts have enabled the wild elephant population of the Chinese state of Xishuangbanna to double since 1978. A ban on hunting activities also made elephants more willing to enter human communities.

More than 150,000 people were evacuated from homes in the elephants' path, but the animals have become local darlings as fans track their progress. For World Elephant Day this Aug. 12, we look at some of the highlights of their journey.

An elephant stands with its trunk pointed up in a field of vegetation
Three elephants walk through brush in a line
A line of seven wild elephants walk over a hilltop lined with agriculture
Two farmers walking through a field of agriculture are dwarfed by three elephants walking in the background
A woman standing under an umbrella presses a fruit into an elephant's trunk
An aerial view of an elephant surrounded by vegetation next to a body of water
At least four adult elephants, including one baby elephant, rest in a meadow
An aerial view of at least 13 elephants grazing in a field
An overhead view of elephants standing around a fork in a dirt road
At least seven elephants walk around an agricultural field
An aerial view shows the herd crossing a bridge over a river


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