Recently two Iraqi ibis couples settled down in the People's Park
of Nanchang, capital city of central China's Jiangxi Province.
Shaken by booming guns of war on
, the ibis couples have luckily acquire the sanctuary of
the People's Republic of China.
Good Friends Who Have Come a Long Way
The two ibis couples, tall, thin and with beautiful pink feather
are, according to staff workers of the park, an endangered bird
species in the world mainly dwelling in the Arabian Gulf and
Caribbean Sea areas.
The purchase of the birds caused a lot of trouble. In February this
year, the Nanchang People's Park got to know from related foreign
trade departments that Basra City was anxious to sell them in the
hope of finding a "safe home" away from the brewing war on Iraq.
After negotiation, the park finally bought the birds at the cost of
20,000 yuan (US$2,416.22) each.
early March, the birds boarded the flight to China and were
transported to the northeast China's port of Tianjin in March 10, a
few days before, American and British forces began bombing Iraq. On
March 24, they arrived in Nanchang.
The Nanchang People's Park has collected 100,000 yuan to build a
luxury "house" in European architectural style especially for the
ibis couples, according to Zheng Yan, general manager of the
There are more than 200 rare species of birds living in the park,
such as Indian peacocks, Peruvian pelicans, and east African
crowned cranes. "Only the ibis couples are accorded such a
courteous reception," said Zheng.
cater to the birds' taste, date palms and small shrimps are
transported especially from east China's Zhejiang Province. Cooked
corn is also a favorite food of theirs. "We won't treat them
shabbily," promised their keepers.
Liu, telephone operator from the park, has been very busy since the
arrival of the birds. "Many citizens call the park, inquiring about
the ibises' health and diet." Some citizens even want to adopt or
donate money for the birds, Liu added.
According to Zheng, the ibis cannot stand any noise. "For example,
they have poor appetites as soon as they notice that some
construction workers are working near the cages. Once their feet
are hurt, the whole body will be infected and they will die later,"
Speaking of the war on Iraq, home to the ibises, Zheng was very
worried. "Many ibises would become casualties of the war." Spring
is the season for ibises to breed, and the war not only hurts
existing birds, but also means the end of their line of succession,
(China.org.cn translated by Li Jingrong April 2, 2003)