Rural police station extends helping hand to nature

By LI YINGQING in Kunming and CHEN MEILING | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-12-21 07:27
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A ceremony is held to mark the arrival of a new chief at the police station and the retirement of its predecessor. HOU WEIJING/FOR CHINA DAILY

Zhang said that together with other government departments, the police station plans to help build the Ailao Mountains National Forest Park, "to make wild animals a shared resource for people around the world".

The police station has become a mini zoo for rescued animals. More than 1,000 wild birds and other creatures, including black gibbons, bears, macaques and pythons, are released from the station every year. Many of them are rescued by locals.

A resident once brought a barn owl caught in a glue trap to the station. Officers removed the adhesive from the owl's feathers with scissors, washed it thoroughly, and placed it in a police car to bask in the midday sun.

By the time the officers had finished lunch, the owl had flown off. However, it later returned with several others, and they made their home in trees that stand near the police station. The officers even prepared food for the owls.

Xiao Jiu, a macaque whose legs were injured, was found by villagers, who took it to the police station, where officers bathed the animal and played with it every day. However, it later damaged taps and notebooks at the station, and as the creature was too young to survive in the wild, the police sent it to a zoo.

Good returns

Local residents are also benefiting from green changes.

Jiang Wenkui, 41, who has been a forest ranger for 16 years, said, "Forest vegetation has increased significantly, and we no longer have any landslides in the area."

Villager and forest ranger Tao Faqing said, "There are more birds and fewer insects, which is good news for our crops."

Tao Faqing, who patrols the mountain and reports any suspicious activities, said: "Birds are humans' best friends. We are responsible for protecting them."

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