Boar war

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-11-22 19:33:01

Hunter Liu Dekun enters the forest on October 14. When hunting, he is on high alert. Photo: CFP


Hunter Liu Bingkun uses a whistle to call his dogs. He has hunted for 30 years. Photo: CFP


Two hunters carry a large boar. Photo: CFP


Some of the villagers disagree with the hunters'actions. Photo: CFP

Hunters gather together to talk about their battle plan for the day. Photo: CFP

The mushrooms, peaches and tea of Tangyuankou are under attack. The attackers come out of the forest before destroying crops and fleeing, wrecking the livelihoods of the local farmers. These criminals are wily and fast. They are wild boars, whose numbers have increased sharply thanks to the government's reforestation policies.

Around noon, with the air still damp from a morning downpour, five hunters gathered together in Tangyuankou village in Jiangshan city, Zhejiang Province. Each one of them carried a gun and two of them brought dogs to track their quarry.

A local farmer told reporters that "crops are frequently destroyed by wild boars. If a piece of land is visited by wild boars twice a year it will basically have nothing to produce."

In 1999, after years of deforestation caused by the expansion of heavy industry and farming, the Chinese government began trying to revive the country's forests. Millions of farmers were paid to plant trees and other plants to complete the "Return Farmland to Forest" policy. These forests then became home to increasing numbers of boars, living cheek by tusk with humans.

Rainy days are good for hunting, as the boars leave clear tracks in the mud. After following a set of tracks, Xu Shiliang spotted his enemy.

He shot several times, but the wild boar was able to dodge his fire. "Boars are highly alert, they can smell humans from very far away. When it runs away in the forest, a human cannot catch it," Xu said.

The hunters didn't spot another hairy bandit that day. After a discussion they decided to call off their hunt for a few days.

On the way back home, they were solemn. For the hunters, killing boars is a necessary but unpleasant task. "We are seeking a balance between killing and protection. We have to ensure the local ecological balance, but we will have to do our job as hunters - to protect our farmland," said hunter Liu Dequn.

Investment from the central government alone in the reforestation project has been over 430 billion yuan ($67 billion), making it the world's largest ecological construction project. 

Global Times

Posted in: In-Depth

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