Wandering Asian elephants in China rest while taking 300 mile trek across country

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A wandering herd of 16 Asian elephants in China continues to amaze the country and beyond, after they were spotted on Thursday taking a well-deserved nap in the forest. Heavy rains near a village in Xiyang slowed down their 300 mile trek when they decided to rest.

According to NbcNews, the elephants have been on their journey for more than 15 months traveling over 300 miles away from their home. The Yunnan Forest Firefighting Brigade have been in charge of monitoring the herd as the elephants have moved through villages and cities eating millions of dollars worth of crops and damaging buildings. Some of the elephants have pushed their trunks through windows and doors, including a walk through the big city of Kunming.

The herd includes three babies. One male has left the herd and is being carefully monitored. The government has deployed drones as well as more than 500 people keeping the herd safe by closing roads and trying to steer the elephants to the southwest. Efforts to turn the elephants around and back to their habitat have been unsuccessful, however they now seem to be heading home on their own.

No one knows for sure why the elephants left their own habitat to make the journey, but some think an inexperienced leader may have led them astray. Others believe the elephants could be searching for a new habitat. Scientists say this is the furthest any wild elephant have traveled from their own habitats.

Asian elephants are endangered, and there are only 300 wild elephants mostly in the south of Yunnan province.

(Photos: Yunnan Forest Fire Brigade)

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