In southern China, a herd of wild elephants leaves a trail of destruction. The large mammals are approaching the city of Kunming. Dozens of police vehicles and nine drones have been deployed to keep an eye on the elephants.
Since their escape from a nature reserve in April, the animals have travelled about 500 kilometres.
The large mammals eat corn crops bare and destroy agricultural sheds:
We are talking about 15 Asian elephants, who enjoy a protected status in China. An adult animal can reach about 6 meters long and 3 meters high.
So far, there have been no reports of injuries. However, the herd has now been converted into euros for almost nine tonnes of damage, reports state agency Xinhua. About 56 hectares of farmland have been damaged or eaten bald. As a result of fear among the locals.
Last Thursday, the elephants roamed the streets of a city for six hours. Residents were warned beforehand to stay inside and traffic was diverted.
Since this week, a special command post has been set up to monitor the animals. The team consists of more than 360 agents, experts and emergency workers. The drone images show that the elephants are now about 20 kilometres from the provincial capital of Kunming.
Tons of elephant feed
The team reports that about 18 tons of feed have been collected. This will allow the authorities to lure the animals away from the city with some 7 million inhabitants. Blocks have also been erected with trucks.
How the herd escaped the nature reserve in the Xishuangbanna region is still unclear. According to Chinese media, wild elephants roam the province of Yunnan. The population there is estimated at about 300.