Nature is causing a ton of damage in China today, as a herd of 15 elephants has already caused $1.1 million in damages to farmlands during what has become a 300-mile journey after they escaped a nature reserve last year.
The elephants are about 12 miles away from Kunming, a city of around 7 million people, according to reports on Wednesday.
The herd includes six female and three male adults, three juveniles, and three calves. The group was initially 16 animals, but two returned home, and a baby was born during the journey.
Reports say that the herd is connected to 412 separate incidents of damage along the journey. Over 360 people, 76 police vehicles, and nine drones have been mobilized to track the elephants, per reports.
One Asian elephant expert Cen Mingyong, told Xinhua that the incident is the longest-distance migration of wild elephants ever recorded in China. He said it was likely that the herd’s leader “lacks experience and led the whole group astray.”
Residents of Eshan were told last week to stay indoors while the elephants roamed the streets of the town for six hours, CNN reported.