China’s Wandering Wild Elephant Herd Captivates The World

A group of wandering wild elephants, nicknamed “The Northbound Wild Elephant Eating and Walking Tour,” have become an overnight Internet sensation in China and globally. The pack first captured the attention of the locals in March 2020, after they suddenly left their home in the Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve.

While the original group comprised 16 mammals, two decided to return home after a week. The rest have continued their journey northward, stopping only for a short break in November 2020 to allow a newly-born calf and its mother to recuperate.

Since leaving the reserve, the elephants have walked over 310 miles (500 kilometers). Along the way, they have raided farms for food and water, walked through urban streets, and even paid a visit to a car dealership and a retirement home. Thanks to the vigilant eye of the government officials, no animals or people have been hurt. However, the pachyderms have destroyed more than $1 million worth of crops.

The wandering herd’s search for a suitable home has not gone unnoticed by the millions of locals that eagerly follow their daily movements on social media. Adam Chang, assigned to deliver food to the elephants, says, “Before this encounter, I just felt curious about animals. Now, I think I would volunteer in animal rights groups to preserve those giant creatures.”

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