(Xinhua) -- Increasing public awareness of wildlife
protection among Chinese people and their participation will
make a difference in the global cause of wildlife conservation,
a famed Chinese conservationist told Xinhua in a recent
Zhuo Qiang, also known and aliased as “Simba”, said China, as a
major developing country with an earnest sense of responsibility
towards the shared destiny of humankind, is actively
participating in the global pursuit of an ecological
civilization, and this has brought hope and progress to the
Over the weekend, a few hundred attendees from home and abroad
joined Zhuo in the “Run for Wildlife”, a charitable event held
on the western outskirts of Beijing.
While running up and down a 5-km hilly path across the forest
park, participants vowed to reject wildlife products and do what
they can to protect endangered species and defend the world
“It is delightful to see more and more Chinese people become
aware and join the cause to protect wildlife,” Zhuo said, who
flew back from Kenya to support the event organized by “Nature
Guardian”, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting
habitat conservation, public education and international
exchange between China and Africa.
In 2011, Zhuo traveled to Mara-Serengeti savannah, where he has
been staying with the indigenous Maasai people and working with
local conservationists at Ol Kinyei Conservancy, a sanctuary for
wildlife covering 260,000 hectares of wilderness.
In recent years, Zhuo and his team have welcomed many Chinese
visitors including children who offered to volunteer for the
Coming back from Kenya, Chinese volunteers shared their
experience and called for an immediate end to the consumption of
wildlife products, such as ivory, rhino horn, pangolin scales
and big cat bones.
Fourteen-year-old Wang Jingyi volunteered at Ol Kinyei last
“I will make sure that nobody in my family or any of my friends
consume wildlife products,” she said at the event on Sunday.
“Really, the lions are not scary. Humans are more frightening to
them than they are to us.”
Zhuo’s wildlife protection work in Kenya had not gone smoothly
at the beginning.
“When I first arrived and told people that I had come to protect
wildlife, nobody believed me, as Chinese men were often linked
to poaching and consumption of wildlife, not the defending of
it,” Zhuo told Xinhua.
Zhuo’s work includes patrolling across the conservancy to
prevent poaching and illicit grazing, monitoring, observing of
wildlife, as well as rescuing injured animals.
Through years of hard work, he has gained trust and respect from
the local tribes and the international community as well.
But wildlife conservation is not a single man’s journey, Zhuo
said. “It can only be achieved by a united community.”
Zhuo places priority on mainstream education. He went door to
door to talk with the local Maasai pastors, explaining to them
the importance of protecting and restoring the ecosystem, and
training young volunteers to become guardians of the habitat.
Eco-friendly tourism has proven to be an effective alternative
to developing the local economy and can help the Maasai people
earn a better life without having to kill the animals, he said.
On the other hand, he speaks of the threats, challenges,
progression and solutions on local, regional and international
stages, and calls for solidarity and joint efforts of all
nations and all people.
He said he looks forward to making his own contribution to
deepening cooperation and exchanges between China and Africa
under the Belt and Road Initiative.
“I hope to share my experience and lessons learnt from operating
a conservancy project in Africa with my colleagues in China, to
improve wildlife protection in the country and build our own
national parks in the future,” he said.