Wednesday, January 27, 2021
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Miluyuan Park (Pere David's deer)

miluyuan-park Miluyuan (Pere David's deer) Park  is located on the site of the Southern Marshes (Nan Haizi) where Yuan, Ming, and Qing emperors would hunt deer, rabbit, and pheasant, and practice military exercises, this ecological research center is the most humane place to view animals in Beijing.

The Milu (Pere David's deer) is a strange deerlike creature that became extinct in China toward the end of the Qing dynasty. For one thousand years, the Milu - an exotic species of deer with the neck of a camel, horns of a stag, feet of a cow, and tail of a donkey - existed only in the Chinese emperor‛s private park in Beijing. But in the nineteenth century, a Basque missionary risked his life to obtain a specimen, then embalmed it and sent it to Paris.

The preserved remains caused quite a stir, and soon every major nation in Europe possessed a Milu. But most died quickly, and due to war - they became extinct in their native habitat as well.

The Milu you see today are the descendants of 18 animals that were collected in 1898 by the far-sighted Lord Bedford from zoos around Europe. In 1985, a group of 20 milu was reintroduced to China; they now number about 200, and over 400 animals have returned to the wild. The expansive marshlands attract migratory birds, and also house other endangered animals, a maze, plots of land where members can grow vegetables without pesticides, and the chillingly effective World Extinct Wildlife Cemetery, which illustrates the plight of endangered species.