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Authorities try to lure wandering elephants away from populous Chinese city

China Wandering Elephants
China Wandering Elephants
China Wandering Elephants
Posted at 12:10 PM, Jun 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 15:50:15-04

BEIJING — Elephants in a wandering herd in southwest China have walked down paved roads and poked their trunks through windows as they near a city of 7 million people.

Authorities have rushed to protect the animals and people.

The group of 15 elephants left a nature reserve last year and have wandered about 300 miles north. It's not clear why the group left or where they are going.

China Wandering Elephants
FILE - In this aerial file photo taken May 28, 2021, and released by China's Xinhua News Agency, a herd of wild Asian elephants walks in E'shan county in southwestern China's Yunnan Province. A herd of 15 wild elephants that walked 500 kilometers (300 miles) from a nature reserve in China's mountain southwest were approaching the major city of Kunming on Wednesday, June 2, as authorities rushed to try to keep them out of populated areas. (Hu Chao/Xinhua via AP, File)

They appear healthy in images showing them roaming through farmland and down paved roads at night.

By late Wednesday, the herd was on the edge of Kunming, a city of 7 million people.

Authorities were warning people not to gawk at or disturb the elephants as they try to lure the animals away with food.

China Wandering Elephants
FILE - In this aerial file photo taken on May 28, 2021, and released by China's Xinhua News Agency, a herd of wild Asian elephants walks in E'shan county in southwestern China's Yunnan Province. A herd of 15 wild elephants that walked 500 kilometers (300 miles) from a nature reserve in China's mountain southwest were approaching the major city of Kunming on Wednesday, June 2, as authorities rushed to try to keep them out of populated areas. (Hu Chao/Xinhua via AP, File)