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A Panda Lover's Story
2005-4-10 14:44:08     
Interview with an Australian animal conservator working in Changqing Nature Reserve, Shaanxi province.

Family album of panda lovers

The Panda Lover
H: Hello again. So you are from Australia, right?
G: Yes.

H: Where from Australia?
G: I'm from Melbourne.
H: OK. So how long have you been working here in China for this project?
G: I've been working altogether about ten months.
H: Ah... so you are fairly new.
G: Yes, yes.
H: So what does it look like from a western point of view do you think it's efficient or just do you think it needs a lot of improvement the organization itself?
G: No. I actually think that the organization is very very good, better than most of the Australian national park organizations. I think that their service system, in particular, is far in advance of most countries, most national parks in most countries. Because they've got a service system they've been running for about 5 years now in which they survey the entire reserve looking at what wild life and birds they see, and they do that 4 times a year. So it's really a good system, and yeah, so I still think the organization here is very very good. 

The reserve is one of the last strongholds of primeval ecological system

H: What has the system reviewed when it comes to endangered species? Does the situation look good or gloomy when considering the future?
G: At the moment, this is doing better. The numbers of pandas, takin and monkeys have all increased over the last 5 years. Because they used to log in the reserve up into 1995 when the reserve was declared. And so since the reserve being declared now the wild life populations are growing significantly.
H: You probably worked with wild life before, back in Australia or where else in the world?
G: Yeah, just in Australia.
H: Ah, so what kind of stuff did you do there?
G: I've mostly been just doing research for the most part, but working in eco-tourism research.
H: And do you think eco-tourism is something that is a trend that will continue to grow all over the world, that something that people value that they know they go to a place on that.
G: Yes. Absolutely. I think that it¡¯s becoming more and more important for tourists that they know their visiting the place won't destroy it, that they know that their money is going towards conservation or would help local communities rather than just going to big, you know, western organization, so we are just trying to make a quick buck. I think that it is going to continue to increase even more. 
H: How do you feel about... China is now growing rapidly and everybody's looking forward to making his or her own fortune. And how do you think people have time, or the attitude toward animals here? What do you think it's like?
G: It's a bit difficult for me to comment, because the people I'm working for... working with obviously all nature staff so they have very good attitude towards wild life obviously. And in general, I've found with the people I've contacted outside of the reserve to talk to that mostly they've been telling me that thank you very much for helping save their wild life. So in general, I think, most people seem really happy that I am doing this work to help save the wild life, to help save the giant panda. So my feeling is that people that people¡¯s attitude in China are very positive toward wild life conservation, but obviously I've only had, you know, limited contact with ordinary Chinese people.

Be A Panda If Possible 

H: What is your favorite animal in the reserve? Do you have any (favorite animals) in the reserve region?
G: Well, definitely the giant panda, but also the golden monkey, because they're really cool.
H: So what kind animals are like golden monkeys? Are they really lively and...
G: Yeah, they're very fun animals, and they're very large. They are one of the largest... well, they are THE largest monkey species in the world. So some of the big males are really really big. Yeah, they're just really fun animals. I really like them.
H: So do you have any panda babies in the reservation the moments or when are they due to come?
G: Not at the moment. At the moment the pandas are mating, so they won't get, you know, have babies for another few months.  
Interviewing Mr. Shi
H: Can you tell us the importance of helping save wild life?

G: Helping save wild life is helping preserve the diversity of our living environment. When I joined work 20 years ago, I didn't realize that saving wild life is so important. As years passed, I now understand that saving wild life is of vital importance to us human beings.
H: How could foreigners participate?

G: Foreign friends who would like to come here helping us save giant pandas could take part in our inspection tour. They can tour around the forests and observe wild life at distance and guard against poachers. Volunteers are also welcomed.

H: If you could become an animal, what animals would you like to choose?

G: The giant panda, definitely, they are the cleverest of all!

See Our Travel Express: Changqing Nature Reserve

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