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Forest police: Final safeguard of animals in Tibet

10-05-2012 13:45 BJT Special Report:Rediscover Ngari |

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By CCTV reporter Liao Ruochen

On the plains of Chiang Tang, where the average altitude is over 4,500 meters, the harsh environment makes the region nearly impossible to live in. But to these policemen, this place is as familiar as their home. With less than a hundred of them, their duty is to patrol over a land about twice the size of Switzerland.

The forest police leave the towns and venture deep into the most barren center of Chiang Tang on their patrols. Sometimes these long patrols take more than a month. They have to bring fuel, spare parts for their vehicles, tents and camping gear. These long patrols put a lot of strain on both the equipment and the person. Some of these vehicles run more than 100,000 kilometers in a year.

These patrols are hard, and they can only take durable food with them, mainly hard dough bread and dried beef. The land is their table, and the sky is their roof. The beef is dried under the sun for more than 20 days, making it as dry as tree bark. Apart from the tasteless food, they have other problems.

To these policemen, this place is as familiar as their home. With less than a hundred
of them, their duty is to patrol over a land about twice the size of Switzerland.

To these policemen, this place is as familiar as their home. With less than a hundred
of them, their duty is to patrol over a land about twice the size of Switzerland.

Jampa Tsering, Captain of forest police of Ali, said, “When I was still a fresh graduate from the police academy, I went on my first patrol with other new officers. Our car broke down in the middle of nowhere. There was no hope of repairing it, and there was no cell phone signal. Everyone back at the station expected that we would be gone for about a month, so no search team was sent for us. So the 4 of us walked for 6 days to reach the nearest village.”

And we nearly ran into the same problem. One of the wheels was swaggering on one side. Everyone was worried. If it were a problem with the axis, then it would be beyond repair. The sun was coming down. We had camping gear, but the area was too exposed and the cold wind at night would have swept our tent off the ground.

Luckily it only took a few bolts to fix the problem, and soon we are on the road again. Running on rough ground tested the extreme of the machine, and malfunctions are common. Every police officer also has to be an expert at repairing vehicles. And when they face the poachers, it puts further tests to their driving skill.

Jampa Tsering said, “The poachers are getting very crafty. When they are hunting the Tibetan antelopes, they ride motorbikes and only go out at night. They cover the rear light with thick paper or plastic bags. Whenever they see us approaching, they scatter into the night, and we cannot see them in the darkness.”

Despite this, the police have successfully kept the peace at Chiang Tang. In 2011 alone, they arrested over 30 poachers, and revealed an entire smuggler’s chain that led into neighboring countries. Harmony between nature and men is slowly being restored.

These wild donkeys are only less than 50 meters away, and I think they know we are here. With the condition of wildlife protection improving, they don’t seem to be afraid of humans at all.

More often, though, the unchanging scenes in their long patrols are the barren sides of the rolling hills and howling winds. But they do not feel lonely, for this is their home. And they are standing vigilant for the land they love.

These patrols are hard, and they can only take durable food with them, mainly hard
dough bread and dried beef.

These long patrols put a lot of strain on both the equipment and the person. Some of
these vehicles run more than 100,000 kilometers in a year.

Editor:Wang Chuhan |Source: CCTV.com

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