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Yu Xiaode and his monkey friends

Updated:2019-11-04 18:25:55   Xinhua
Yu Xiaode, 62, works at the Shangri-La Snub-Nosed Monkeys National Park in the Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan province. He treats the monkeys like friends and family members. 
As a villager of the Lisu ethnic minority, Yu has been acting as a ranger for more than ten years. Now, the snub-nosed monkeys in the surrounding forests can recognise his voice and understand his whistle. They play and eat around Yu like friends. 
The Yunnan snub-nosed monkeys live predominantly by the Baima Snow Mountain. Together with the giant pandas, they are national first-class protected animals. "They have a human-like face and big red lips. They are special and beautiful," said Yu excitedly—even if he is usually a reticent man.
Around the 1980s, hunting and logging had damaged the habitats of snub-nosed monkeys and threatened their survival. To protect the snub-nosed monkeys from extinction, China established the Baima Snow Mountain Nature Reserve. In 1999, the nature reserve joined hands with the local communities. This cooperation has not only protected the snub-nosed monkeys, but has furthermore provided employment for local residents, benefiting the villagers in Xiangguqing and several other villages in the Shangri-La Snub-Nosed Monkeys National Park.
Yu and some of his fellow become the first park rangers. "I earn a monthly salary of 1,700 RM (US$239.87). While working as a ranger, I can also help my family grow corn and potatoes," said Yu. He has a family of four and they earn nearly 40,000 RMB (US$ 5,644) a year. 
After years of protection efforts, the number of snub-nosed monkeys is increasing year by year, and is estimated to have exceeded 3,500.
Translating by Xinhua; editing by Wang jingzhong; photographs by reporters of Yunnan Daily 
Keywords:   Snub-Nosed Monkeys nature Yunnan