Wild animals in Shennongjia Nature Reserve in central China's Hubei Province won't have to worry about foraging for food in harsh weather because they will be fed by local zoologists.
The zoologists working at the nature reserve have signed a contract with 10 households at a local village to purchase 20,000-30,000 kilograms of organic carrots. The carrots will be distributed next winter to wild animals roaming the forests on the reserve.
Most of the nature reserve is located in high-altitude areas that have a long, snowy winter. It is difficult for wild animals, especially herbivores, to find food by themselves. Rough statistics suggest that between the end of 2005 and March 2006, more than 20 animals died from hunger on the reserve.
With a total area of 70,467 hectares, Shennongjia Nature Reserve has the richest ecological system of any area at that latitude in the world. It is home to the golden monkey and various rare species including endangered species under state protection. The biodiversity is a result of the geological diversity in the area.
Shennongjia is applying for the status of a UNESCO natural heritage site.
(Xinhua News Agency September 16, 2006)