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ISSUE 2119Wednesday 14 March 2001

  China's army at war with killer wolves
By David Rennie in Beijing


 

External Links
 
> Inside China
 
> Wolfweb
 

 CHINESE troops are on anti-wolf patrols in the far west region of Xinjiang where the worst winter for 50 years has driven packs out of the mountains and on to plains where livestock graze.

According to the Red Cross Society of Xinjiang, the freezing weather has killed 31 people in the predominantly Muslim region and 33 have gone missing in blizzards. Others have died in neighbouring Inner Mongolia and Mongolia.

Now, herdsmen and their families in Xinjiang are banding together with army garrisons to fight off wolves, which have eaten 1,500 sheep in one prefecture alone. Wolves have also attacked endangered antelope in the Kalamaili Mountain Nature Preserve. The antelope can normally outrun predators with ease, but they are starving and cannot sprint through deep snow.

Temperatures are now rising in northern regions after reaching -40C, but a thaw raises the risk of floods.

4 January 2001: Italian wolves develop a taste for French lamb

 




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