A herd of 14 migrating wild Asian elephants in China has travelled further south in Eshan county, Yunnan province, authorities said.

The herd headed 15 km south between 6 p.m. on Tuesday and the same time on Wednesday, reports Xinhua news agency.

The rainy weather in Eshan has added to the difficulty of monitoring and tracking the herd, according to the headquarters in charge of monitoring the elephants’ migration.

A male elephant, which strayed 18 days ago, is now 32.5 km away in Jinning district in Kunming, the provincial capital.

On Wednesday, a total of 132 people were mobilised for the work, 957 local residents were evacuated, and 400 kg of food was provided to the elephants.

The tuskers have travelled about 500 km north from their forest home in Yunnan’s Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, reaching Kunming on June 2.

For over a month, authorities have sent police to escort the herd, evacuated roads to facilitate their passage, and used food to distract them from entering densely populated areas.

Asian elephants are primarily found in Yunnan and are under A-level state protection in China.

Due to enhanced protection efforts, the wild elephant population in the province grew to about 300, up from 193 in the 1980s.

–IANS

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