by Bunko Dolus, The Chicago Times
June 8, 2021
CHINA – A herd of 15 wild elephants is marching to the beat of their own drum though the countryside of southern China. They have been spotted trotting down city streets at night. Officials are trying their best to limit damage and keep both elephant and people safe.
There have been reports of damage to farms which have acted as a source of food and water for the herd, but more concerning is their incursion into urban areas. One report has the herd entering a retirement home and disturbing residents. Estimated agricultural losses are currently in the millions of dollars.
Professor Victor von Hapsburg, noted zoologist, is unsure of way the migration is occurring, yet stated that increases in the agricultural industry and abundant products may have attracted the wild elephants which known for having a taste for tropical fruits and yellow corn. Hapsburg commented that many elephants dislike white corn because it often sticks in their teeth.
Elephants are known to stay within a given territory, but Hapsburg believes this may be the first instance of a herd becoming bored and looking for more vibrant and entertaining surroundings. Hapsburg added that it could also be the indication of an evolutionary change in which elephants might be adapting or learning to live within the human environment, often associated with the controversial Babarian Theory.
Elephants in China are afforded the highest level of protection, allowing their numbers to continuously rise even as their natural habitat declines; forcing farmers and others to treat them with extreme caution when they come into contact. People have been warned to stay indoors and not to stare at them, use firecrackers, or otherwise try to scare them away. According to Hapsburg, elephants are extremely scopophobic, dislike loud noises, and can easily have their feeling hurt when they feel unwanted.
Asian elephants, the continent’s largest land animal, are on the decline, with less than 50,000 remaining in the wild. Their main risks are habitat degradation and the associated human-wildlife conflict, as well as poaching and population isolation.