Some "royal" deer moved out of imperial resort for heritage protection

08:37, June 18, 2010      

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Two hundred spotted deer, descendants of royal deer roaming in a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) imperial resort in Chengde, northern Hebei Province, over 300 years ago, were transported Thursday to a nature reserve also in Hebei.

The deer's new home is 200 kilometers away from the Bi Shu Shan Zhuang, or the Mountain Resort, an imperial summer resort of the Qing Dynasty.

The number of deer in the Mountain Resort has quickly increased to more than 1,000, said Han Fucai, director of the administrative committee of the resort. "They are damaging the resort and nearby farmland."

"The deer have never been hunted. Their numbers have grown excessively. They eat the vegetation and crops," he said.

He said the forestry authorities have agreed to relocate some of the deer to Luanhe Upper River National Nature Reserve. The relocation of the deer would continue till the number of deer is below 400 in the resort.

Removing the deer is just one of many measures taken by the local authorities to protect the cultural heritage, which receives more than 20,000 morning work-outs and another 15,000 visitors a day in peak seasons.

The city government of Chengde has built 11 public parks in the past two years to help reduce the stream of local morning exercisers to the resort.

The imperial resort, some 230 kilometers north of Beijing, was built in 1703 during the Qing Dynasty and was the second center of power at the time, after Beijing, as emperors lived there in the summer and received diplomats and tribal leaders.

The resort administration committee has seen to 30,000 square meters of non-heritage buildings dismantled and added 80,000 square meters of greeneries in the heritage protection efforts in the past two years.

The Mountain Resort and its Outlying Temples were put on the list of the World Cultural Heritage sites in 1994.



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