Today, Verum’s trusty crystal ball got exactly what she wanted—a story about an elephant herd’s journey of epic proportions! The news left Verum in a thoughtful state of mind.

“What are you thinking about, Verum?” said Felix, sitting down next to her.

“Do you remember we discussed the news of a herd of the Asian elephants of Yunnan that had traveled 500 kilometers in China?” said Verum.

“I do remember but vaguely,” said Felix, “What about them?”

“Well, my crystal ball fetched a detailed account of their journey,” said Verum, “Would you like to hear about it?”

“Yes! Go on, Verum,” said Felix.

“In the Yunnan province in southwestern China lies the Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve. A lush tropical forest, it is home to Yunnan’s endangered Asian elephants,” said Verum, “Only about 300 of these elephants exist. And almost half of these 300 elephants are the result of China’s conservation efforts.”

“That must have put pressure on the forest. Elephants need a lot of food and space,” said Felix.

“You’re right. Experts suggest that’s the reason why a herd of 14 elephants left the reserve in March 2020 and headed north,” said Verum, “Initially, nobody was concerned. But as the months passed, people realized this was an unusual behavior for the elephants.”

“What did they do?” said a curious Felix.

“They crashed into people’s homes, ate their crops, drank a lot of their water, and even wandered through the city at night,” said Verum, “The authorities began tracing their journey. The Chinese officials set up task forces to guide the elephants away from the cities and villages.”

She added, “They ended up in the big city of Kunming in June 2021. During this 500-kilometer journey, a few elephants returned home while a few strayed away. But two baby elephants were also born. After reaching Kunming, the elephants began their journey back to the Xishuangbanna Reserve.”

“Yay!” said Felix.

“On 8th August, the elephants crossed a bridge over the Yuanjiang River. They were in the last leg of their return journey,” said Verum.