EIGHT Tibetan antelope calves have been rescued in the Hoh Xil national nature reserve in northwest China’s Qinghai Province.
The calves were discovered in late July after their mothers delivered them at Zonag Lake, according to Hoh Xil’s Sonam Dargye protection station.
Every summer, large groups of antelopes travel more than 600 kilometers to the lake to give birth to calves, before taking them back to their original habitat. “During the migration, Tibetan antelope calves may be separated from groups as they avoid attacks from predators,” said Lhundrup Tsegyel, deputy head with the station.
He said patrols had rescued the eight calves and placed them in the station’s wildlife rescue center. Sadly, one of the cubs was too weak to survive.
The staff are feeding the antelopes with milk to start with, and after their condition improves they will be taken to the grasslands and released for the next migration in July.
The center’s patrols have rescued more than 400 Tibetan antelopes since it opened in 2000.
The Hoh Xil reserve covers 45,000 square kilometers in China’s largest area of uninhabited land, and is recognized as a World Heritage Site.
China’s antelope population declined sharply from 200,000 to 20,000 due to illegal hunting in the 1980s. Currently, the population has recovered to more than 60,000.