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A lifetime patrolling a peak to safeguard forest and mother river for millions

By Li Yang | China Daily | Updated: 2022-10-04 09:38

Police officer Yang Bolun (right) and his colleague take a rest during patrolling of Maoershan Mountain in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.[Photo provided to China Daily]

More than 300,000 kilometers traversed wearing 120 different pairs of shoes in over 38 years. That's one way of looking at the life of Yang Bolun, a 59-year-old police officer attached with the Maoershan Mountain Police Station in Guilin,Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. Yang is tasked with patrolling the highest peak in South China, 2,142 meters above sea level and spread across 17,000 hectares, and protecting the forest there.

Starting as "Little Yang" in his early 20s, "Old Yang" now has gray hair, but the same zeal with which he has investigated more than 160 cases, saved and treated more than 5,000 wounded wild animals, and rescued more than 200 tourists trapped in the mountains.

Despite battling bowel cancer,stomach perforation and rheumatism, ailments for which he has to regularly take medicines and undergo chemotherapy, Yang remains humble as he battles poachers and illegal loggers. He says he was just an ordinary person doing his duty in the mountain.

During those long years in the mountain, Yang missed out on many important moments, such as being with his parents in their last moments. Not without regret.

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