China has deployed trucks on a large scale to stop an advancing group of wild elephants.
They are more than 500 kilometres from their habitat and are now causing chaos near the metropolis of Kunming, which is home to more than eight million people.
State television showed images of a long line of trucks parked by a road in a wooded area. For example, the fifteen large animals must be kept away from densely populated areas. “We are here to block the elephants,” one driver told CCTV. “The traffic police said they needed trucks.”
The elephants have already left a trail of destruction in small communities. There they passed through people’s gardens and knocked over trees. “The herd walked through the village all day,” said one nervous villager. “We walked out and saw an elephant about three meters high. We thought it was terrifying.”
Authorities have sent thousands of people out to keep an eye on the animals. They use drones and infrared cameras. It is still unclear why the animals left their nature reserve in Yunnan province. Their journey is closely followed on Chinese social media, and there is also plenty of speculation about the cause of the elephant journey.