Two wild tuskers, who crossed over into Uttar Pradesh from Nepal last month, were continuing to roam there, sending forest and wildlife experts on a wild goose chase.
All efforts to herd the two tuskers back into Nepal or away from human habitation have so far proved futile.
The elephants, who have travelled from Nepal to Pilibhit and now Bareilly, had reached Mandanpur village in Bareilly on Friday night, which is around 4 km from Rampur. An alert has been sounded on the Rampur border.
Forest Department officials said they will continue with the "push-and-pull" process with the help of five trained cow elephants from Dudhwa.
They have identified three routes leading to the forests of Uttarakhand and Nepal depending on which one the tuskers choose - western, central and eastern directions.
These two jumbos that entered Pilibhit's Amaria block 18 days ago, have killed four people and injured three. Since then, they have moved to Bareilly, Rampur and Rudrapur and are now back in Bareilly.
Chief Conservator of Forests, Jhansi, and in-charge of elephant rescue operation, P.P. Singh said: "The wild tuskers are moving on the right track with a slight deviation. If they deviate to the eastern side, they will be taken to Nepal through Mahof range of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve and Lagga Bagga corridor.
"If the tuskers hit Western Terai division of Uttarakhand, they can go to Corbett via Ramnagar. If they move towards central side, they will go to Chorgalia and through Gola river corridor, reach Corbett via Ramnagar."
The push-and-pull process involves lighting a fire at dusk behind the jumbos to scare them while the cow elephants from Dudhwa move about 400 metres ahead to attract the tuskers and guide them to safety.
A team of 12 forest staff was deployed at the Rampur border on Saturday morning as the two tuskers reached Mandanpur village.
A.K. Kashyap, DFO, Rampur, said: "The forest staff will guard the two elephants if they enter Rampur. Besides, we have alerted village heads of villages situated on Bareilly-Rampur border and police."