Several choppers tried to make their way from Guanghan airport to the park during the afternoon, but most had to return, and one had to carry out a forced landing.
A chopper is taking off from Guanghan City's airport to rescue two lions and a tiger.
At 7:00 PM, 2 air force soldiers, 5 breeders and 2 reporters in the valley were temporarily back in Guanghan. The rescue effort is due to continue today. Wangguan Group, the parent company of the park, said they have reached a preliminary agreement with the International Fund for Animal Welfare to help the tiger and lions after they are evacuated.
The Happy Valley park is an alpine scenic spot and an entertainment park in Hongbai Town, Shifang City, attracting tourists and explorers. After the earthquake on May 12 the road was blocked, and there has since been a power blackout.
In the quake relief effort, one chopper has already tragically crashed. All 18 people on board, five crew members and 13 injured civilians, died in the accident. The bodies were recovered on Tuesday at the crash site near the epicenter town of Yingxiu after a 12-day search, and the black box voice recorder was found Wednesday.
(China.org.cn June 12, 2008)