DE-EXTINCTION IN OUR TIME
An incredible story about the Père David's Deer, also called Milu deer in Chinese.
A species that went extinct in the wild already some 300 years ago, but was miraculously saved, thanks to an Emperor, an Earl, the WWF and the Chinese government.
In the late 19th century, the world's only herd of these deer, lived captive in the Imperial Deer garden in Bejing. In 1895, fewer than 30 of them remained in the garden. Then the Chinese Empire crumbles, there are popular uprisings, and during the Boxer Rebellion 1905, all remaining deer were shot and eaten by soldiers, leaving the Père David's deer extinct in its native China.
That could have been the end of the story.
But luckily, right before that, the Earl of Bedford managed to buy a bunch of these totally unique animals and brought them to the UK. The species survived there, and finally in 1985, through a joint effort between WWF, the Chinese government, the Bedford Estate and some strong-minded individuals, a group of 18 of these technically extinct deer was transported back to China and put back into the then restored Imperial deer garden. They did what deer do, and soon they were too many for that little garden.
A new reserve was quickly created in their ancient heartlands along the Yangtze river, in Shishou, in 1991, and then in 1993 and 1994 the first deer, 64 in total, were brought there to see if they would make it in nature.
They did, and now there are over 700 of them in the reserve, free-roaming and wild. But 1998 three groups of them managed to escape the reserve, swam off with the floods and are now living outside the reserve, in spite of the Yangtze valley being one of the most densely populated farmlands in the world.
Photo by @staffanwidstrand for @wildwondersofchina.
Nikon D850, Nikkor 600/4
#china #conservation #milu #egret #bird #extinct #wildlife #visitchina #deer #nikon #marvelouz_animals #natgeoyourshot #500px #animalelite #animals_captures #featured_wildlife #wildlife_vision #animal_sultans #yourshotphotographer #earthcapture #earthpix #1f4n #natgeo #wildlifephotography #ilcp_photographers #birdphotography #earthfocus #wildlife_perfection