Heavy sleepers: Elephants on epic trek take nap

BEIJING (AFP) – A herd of wild elephants in southwestern China have been captured on camera taking a breather from a 500-kilometre march of chaos that has caused more than USD1 million in damage.

Chinese state television has launched a 24-hour live feed of the herd as the country remains on watch following the 15 elephants’ epic trek through homes, barns and crops in Yunnan province.

Footage from state broadcaster CCTV filmed on Monday showed the herd, tired from their adventures, curled up in a forest on the outskirts of the provincial capital Kunming.

At one point in the footage a calf on its back stirs itself, trunk and feet sprawled in the air, before hauling itself onto a sleeping adult and nodding off again.

The adventures of the huge mammals have captivated the nation, with hundreds of millions taking to social media to discuss their journey.

The elephants have been closely monitored by authorities as they lumber through lush countryside. More than 400 people have been mobilised to ensure public safety and dozens of drones are now following their every step.

Convoys of trucks have lined roads in a bid to keep the herd away from densely populated areas, including the more than eight million people who live in nearby Kunming.

A migrating herd of elephants rests near Xinyang Township in Jinning District of Kunming city in southwestern China’s Yunnan Province. PHOTO: AP