Nanhaizi Milu Park

Nanhaizi Milu Park

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Nanhaizi Milu Park(Deer Park), located in the Daxing County about 20 kilomtres south of Beijing, covers an area of 67 hectares (167. 5acres). The park is encircled by a wall 3,700 metres long and 2.5 metres high. About 7 hectares (17.5 acres) of grass – the milu’s food has been planted and the shelters for the milu have been set up.

The milu, known as Pere David Deer in the West, is a rare species on the verge of extinction. According to an agreement for reintroduction between the British marquis and the Chinese Government signed in July 1985, the deer were raised under semi-wild conditions in Beijing’s Nanhaizi, site of an imperial hunting ground where the animals were last seen in China in 1900. The 22 deer returned to their native habitat of Beijing in August 1985 as gifts from the Marquis of Tavistock and Woburn Abbey, England.
The milu originated in China but were extinct in the country for more than 80 years because of the upheavals of the late 19th century, particularly the chaos created by invading forces. The llth Duke of Bedford, the great-grandfather of the present Marquis of Tavistock, bought all the 18 milu in Europe in the early 20th century and kept them in a semi-wild condition on his estate.

All the deer now alive are descendants of the origninal 18 at Woburn Abbey, which had 400 in 1985.

The deer have been extinct in the wild for more than 1,600 years and in China for nearly a century.

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