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[China Story] Yu Wubiao converted from hunter to monkey protector

Updated:2017-08-11 17:00:42   english.yunnan.cn

Yu Wubiao has worked as a ranger in the mountain for quite a few years and is nicknamed "monkey king" by locals.

Lying in west Yunnan’s Yunlong Tianchi nature reserve, the Longma Mountain forms a southernmost habitat for Yunnan snob-nosed monkeys.

 "As long as I go to mountain, I will surely visit the monkeys," said Yu Wubiao, a man in his 50s. Wearing a camouflage, Yu is energetic and of medium build.

45 years ago, his family moved to Yunlong from the Eryuan, both counties of Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture. The Yu family then settled in the Yi ethnic village of Shijing, Jiancao Township, and localized themselves. 

Following the steps of his father and uncle, Yu grew to be famous hunter years later. "Whatever animals I saw, I just shoot.”

"At first, I just knew the game is a monkey,” recalled Yu. “But later I learned it belongs to a rare species."

In June 1988, locals were told by Kunming expert Long Yongcheng that Yunnan snob-nosed monkey is under Grade I state protection. From then on, Yu and his family put down their shotguns.

In the wake of 2004, Dr. Huo Sheng came to the mountain to study the monkey, and Yu served as his guide.

Accompanying Huo in the whole-course of tracing, observing and recording the behaviors of the monkeys, Yu renewed his mindset to the animal and decided to be an activist of monkey protection.

Guided by Yu, snob-nosed monkeys in the Longma Mountain was covered twice by reporters with Xinhua and CCTV, greatly enhancing the public’s awareness of the rare animal.

One day in the fall of 2005, when Yu was walking on a trail in the mountain, a baby monkey was frightened and fell on the ground from a tree, crying. The mother monkey was hiding in another bigger tree over 100 meters off him, watching.

Yu calmly pick up the little money, quietly send it under the big tree and retreated to hide himself 40 meter away, observing.

20 minutes later, the mother came down to take the baby to her bosom and returned to tree. Seeing the affecting scene, Yu was touched and reassured at the same time.

The New Year's Day of 2006 is special for Yu because he was officially admitted as a ranger of the Tianchi nature reserve.

In the following 11 years, Yu and his workmates witnessed changes in the Longma Mountain: "The villagers no longer fell trees, the Hongyan River flows all year round, and the number of Yunnan snob-nosed monkey is on the rise."

Guiding Yunnan Daily reporters in the mountain recently, Yu walked fast and vigorously, continuing his mission as a monkey protector.

Chinese reporting by Zhuang Junhua, Trans-editing by Eric Wang


Keywords:   Wubiao monkey protector