A herd of wild elephants has migrated about 500 kilometers in the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan, leading to an around-the-clock watch by local authorities.
China Central Television and other media report that 15 Asian elephants began the trip north last year in spring from their original habitat in the southern part of the province near the Myanmar border.
The herd has reportedly reached Yuxi, about 500 kilometers from its usual home.
Video footage taken by local residents showed the elephants wandering into residential districts and individual yards of private households.
Damage inflicted by the herd on farm crops and elsewhere is estimated to have reached about 1.1 million dollars in just over the past month alone.
Experts were quoted as saying that the elephants may have tried to return to their traditional habitat, but got lost for some reason.
Local authorities have deployed police vehicles and drones for monitoring the herd, as the elephants may stray into urban areas if they continue traveling northward.