Monkey see, humans do

Updated: 2016-01-25 07:43

By Erik Nilsson(China Daily)

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Monkey see, humans do

Golden monkeys in Hubei's Shennongjia. [Photos by Wen Zhenxiao/Huang Yiming/Zhao Renbao/Liu Bingsheng/China Daily]

3 Shennongjia

Golden monkeys scamper through this forest reserve in Hubei province.

Legend whispers that another primate lumbers along this territory-the Yeren, or Wild Man-China's Big Foot.

That said, the place itself is named after a pseudo-mythical horned pharmacologist from whom all ethnic Han are believed to have descended.

Basically, Shennong is like a Chinese Abraham with an ox scalp, who gobbled unidentified herbs to discover if they wielded medicinal purposes-or poison. (It's said his intestines ruptured, fatally, after he digested a toxic yellow flower.)

The UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve remains a botanist's playground.

Roughly 3,500 species of flora flourish. So do golden monkeys-and, perhaps consequently, the lore of Yeren.