Strayed elephant sent back to forest home in China’s Yunnan

A male elephant that broke away from the wandering elephant herd was captured and sent back to its forest home on Wednesday in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China’s Yunnan Province, local authorities said.

Yuxi City headquarters in charge of monitoring the herd’s migration launched emergency measures for the capture and transfer of the elephant early Wednesday morning to prevent the strayed animal from entering densely populated areas.

At 3 p.m., the elephant was transferred to its habitat — a national nature reserve in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture. The animal is in sound health.

The herd of 15 wandering wild Asian elephants traveled about 500 km north from its forest home in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, before reaching provincial capital Kunming on June 2.

The male elephant strayed from the herd on June 6, and moved around in the cities of Kunming, Anning and Yuxi, with an activity area of 140 square km and traversing a distance of 190 km. It was mainly fed by locals or foraged in villages.

The animal was 72 km from its herd in the forested area of Hongta District in Yuxi when it was captured and transferred to its jungle home.

Experts said it is difficult for the strayed elephant to return to the herd or its habitat on its own.