A wandering herd of Asian elephants

June 22, 2021 • 2:00 pm

According to Twisted Sifter, a group of 15 Asian elephants (Elephas maximus)—5% of the total population of the species living in China—are on 500 km (300-mile) trek to who knows where?  As the site says:

A roaming herd of 15 wild elephants has captivated the globe as their 500+ km trek has become a source of fascination. The herd began its journey northwards more than a year ago, travelling from a designated elephant protection zone in Xishuangbanna, near China’s border with Myanmar.

They have been slowly heading north ever since, roaming through fields, villages, and even cities. It is unclear exactly when or why they left home to begin the epic journey, but authorities have been closely monitoring their movements.

It could be deforestation, a search for new food, disturbance by humans, or a desire to get away from other elephants. Treks this long are unheard of. It’s one of those mysteries, but here are two videos showing these amazing creatures, including babies, on their Big Trek.



11 thoughts on “A wandering herd of Asian elephants

  1. A few decades ago there was a large migration of elephants in Kenya from Tsavo East to Shimba Hills. This was 200+ kilometres and involved crossing the main Mombasa-Nairobi road and railway. The consensus was that they were fleeing poachers. It was much easier to protect them in Shimba Hills. How did they know?

    1. Think they are being ( how I don’t know!) by Chinese government towards a big city like another 15 elephants raving 300 miles ended up arriving in a big city ( this may be same herd just repeated) that will end up being used in elephant slavery just like animal traffickers do to get elephants there, for same purpose!
      Don’t know this for a fact, except first similar herd ended up in a big Chinese city, and never heard from media again what was their fate.

  2. There must be something in the air causing such wanderlust. A parallel case is that of a Canadian Arctic Walrus currently touring Britain. No one is sure how Wallly the Walrus ( so named by the Tabloids ) got this far South. It is possible that part of the trip was on an ice floe. However, he has certainly been travelling under his own steam these last several thousand miles, firstly to Ireland, then Wales, France, Spain and back to Britain, currently in y Scilly Isles West of Cornwall. He seems to be eating well and thriving. He is even emulating curious seals by trying to climb aboard boats and dinghies. He certainly has become a tourist attraction!

  3. What an interesting story—where will they end up? One other surprise for me, at the start of the first video, was seeing them all sleeping flat on the ground. I always thought elephants slept standing up.

  4. No idea why they are doing this. One possibility is that it’s all up to the matriarch of the herd since they will go where she leads. But what if she is “off”?

    1. That was one theory posited on the story I heard on NPR – that the leader just didn’t know the right way to go and kept on going.

  5. Yes, your probably spot on, or a even worse scenario – being herded by Chinese government or traffickers to be used in animal slave labor, like elephant entertainment industry, just like traffickers usually do but this may be a new way, to get them over to a big city like last similar herd traveling 300 miles ( same amount of 15 elephants including babies) ended up at and media never followed up on their fate!!

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