At least a dozen buzzing drones monitor them around the clock. Wherever they go, they’re escorted by police. And when they eat or sleep, they’re watched by millions online.
For more than a week, China has been gripped by a new internet sensation: a herd of 15 marauding elephants, who are large, lost and wrecking havoc in the country’s southwest.
Millions have tuned in to livestreams of the elephants, which have trekked more than 500 kilometers (310 miles) across the country since escaping from a nature reserve in South China last year.
And online, netizens have followed transfixed as the elephants trampled crops, causing more than a million dollars worth of damage, and roamed through towns, prompting local residents to stay inside.
Unsurprisingly, breakout stars have emerged. Viewers are particularly charmed by the herd’s three calves, including one who was born during the epic journey, according to chinese state-run tabloid Global Times .