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The lonely Tibetan Antelope

A British explorer used to describe Kekexili in his diary as follows “ .Hundreds of thousands of female Tibetan antelope, together with their little lambs, spread all over the land, from here to the unlimited horizon, where more sheep flood in like tides. There are at least 15,000 t0 20,000 of them…”

Well, that was written in 1903, we, living a century behind, probably are not so lucky to see this. Every year there are 20,000 of the Tibetan antelopes killed by poachers anxious for the enormous profit. The Tibetan antelopes are facing the danger of dying out and therefore could hardly be seen nowadays, however, if you are persisted and lucky enough, during the long journey in the train to Lhasa, you could still spot one or two of them standing there with a lonely and silent silhouette far in the horizon.

They are born for Kekexili, where the natural condition is extremely hard. For example, their thick cashmere could help them to survive in hails, while even animals like yak might be killed by the hails as big as eggs, falling with great violence. Their light body and prompt actions prevent them from being stuck in the swampland, where people usually die if only they stepped on it. Besides, their team spirit helps them to survive within worst natural environment. Whenever anyone within the Tibetan Antelope group is injured, the whole group would slow down or stop to take care of it. This would prevent in-jured one from being eaten by the other animals . However, the habit has been made use by poachers. In the evening, the poachers would crash through a school of Tibetan antelopes, shooting at those pregnant ones. Once one gets injured, the whole group would stop escaping and stay with injured one. In this way, poachers could kill a lot of them and get the pre-cious cashmere they want.

Therefore, the total amount of Tibetan antelope has reduced to less than 50,000, according to figure shown in 1995. And it is almost impossible to see a school of them gathered together like the British explorer described in his book.

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