A herd of elephants on a mammoth trek across China have been spotted taking a break from their travels after more than a year on the road.
The 15-strong herd have captured hearts around the world since they were first spotted travelling away from their natural habitat, and has since journeyed more than 500km across the countryside, even venturing into nearby towns and cities.
Now, the elephants seem to be taking a well-earned break, with the team tasked with monitoring the herd recently capturing images of them sleeping in a forest outside of Xiyang township in Yunnan province.
Scientists say that the 15-month long journey is the farthest a herd of the endangered Asian elephant species has ever travelled, with no real explanation as to why they embarked on such a trek. It is thought that they are now heading home.
The herd’s adventure has been followed closely by Chinese social media users, with the elephants gaining devoted fans both in the country and around the world. People have shared snaps of the group wandering through town and city streets, with the herd at one point even venturing into Kunming – a city the size of Houston.
The Guardian reports that a dedicated team of Yunnan firefighters has been using drones to track the elephant’s movements 24 hours a day, with a massive ground effort also deployed to steer the animals away from populated areas.
With at least one of the elephants having given birth along the way, it’s not surprising that the herd has felt in need of a quick lie down. But they didn’t stop for long. According to the BBC, the animals have since resumed their travels, and are believed to be making the long trip home to the Mengyangzi Nature Reserve in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan.