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A herd 15 wild elephants is approaching a city 6.6 million people China. The group of Asian elephants has trekked nearly 500km their habitat in a nature reserve in the south Yunnan province, near the borders with Myanmar and Laos. China's official news agency, Xinhua, reports that there are three calves the herd. The giant beasts are heading north to the outskirts the provincial capital, Kunming. They have travelled along highways and fields of crops the past few months. A Chinese TV station said that over the past week, the animals guzzled down the water in a water tank and feasted kilos of corn in farmers' fields. Their journey has been captivating the Chinese public.

Authorities are now attempting to ensure the herd does not enter Kunming city. Experts are coaxing the animals taking detours that will get them to head back their nature reserve. It is unclear as to why the animals have migrated so far away their original habitat. One reason could be a decline in the amount edible plants their reserve. Naturally growing supplies the elephants' favorite foods, such as plume grass, have fallen. Another factor could be a rise in elephant numbers. Xinhua reports that the wild elephant population in Yunnan Province is around 300, from 193 in the 1980s. A further explanation offered is that the leader the herd could have simply led it astray.

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