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Yunnan animal preserve is a monkey kingdom

By Wang Kaihao and Li Yingqing | China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-07 07:31

Yunnan animal preserve is a monkey kingdom

The Shangri-La National Park of Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkeys in Weixi county, Yunnan province, is home to the country's largest reserve for the species. [Photo provided to China Daily]

"The priorities remain to protect the monkeys and conduct research."

That said, some outsiders come specifically to help, rather than harm.

Li Jie is one of two volunteers working in the park for a month.

The 24-year-old Henan province native was cycling through Yunnan when he was enticed by a volunteer project by the environmental NGO Green River.

"I couldn't continue the trip after seeing so many adorable animals," Li says.

"They live far from where I do. But every species is important to our greater ecosystem and will ultimately affect my life in ways like the butterfly effect. A sad truth is many other species that don't have striking facial features like black snub-nosed monkeys went extinct before the public noticed."

His revelation shows how many visitors experience unexpected philosophical realizations in the wilderness that they take home - that is, those beyond reinforcing the virtues of rising early.

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China Daily explores the country's shades of green in this series.

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