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Legalized hunting park targets white collar customers

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More Chinese than ever go about their lives in landscapes of concrete and steel – cut off from, and yearning for, the richness and splendor of the natural world.

One enterprising businessman has established a park in the Yunnan countryside where these urbanites can tap into their primal urge to commune with Mother Nature... and shoot 'er dead.

The Lijiang Paradise (丽江乐园) hunting park lies at the base of Yulong Snow Mountain, just north of Lijiang and its heavily touristed old town. Patrons can use a variety of real imported and domestically produced firearms chambered with live ammunition to shoot several types of animals.

These animals include sika deer at a cost of 8,000 yuan (US$1,214) apiece, wild boar for 4,000 yuan, goats for 1,000 yuan, pheasant for 200 yuan and hare for 100 yuan.

Promotional materials for the hunting park distributed to hotels and other businesses in Lijiang state, "at the bottom of every man's heart lies an affinity for guns, because guns are glorious and they are a symbol of manhood."

It might surprise some observers that in China, where civilian gun ownership is generally prohibited, a tourist could casually pay a few hundred yuan to use an Italian-made 12-gauge shotgun to blast a pheasant.

This fact also seemed to surprise the reporter who published a sort of media exposé of the hunting park on the Kunming Information Hub website. Generally, when one hears about guns in Chinese news, it is a story of a poacher with an illegal rifle or a gangster accused of using a black market handgun to commit murder.

Some of the firearms at Lijiang Paradise
Some of the firearms at Lijiang Paradise

But as it turns out, China's firearm ownership law has nuances that allow some individuals and organizations to apply to various bureaucratic organs and be granted permission to own and use guns.

Lijiang Paradise is one such organization. It says it applied to local, provincial and national authorities to obtain permission for its collection of guns. An employee of the park surnamed Yang told the reporter that he believed the hunting park to be the first of its kind in southwest China.

"These are all world-famous guns," he added. "Their killing power is extremely strong. For instance, you can use a Beretta shotgun to kill a cow with one shot. And from inside 10 meters you can even explode a sheep's head."

Chairman of the park, Dong Tao (董韬), called hunting a "mixture of modern fashion and traditional culture," that he hopes to turn into a popular pastime for white-collar workers from big cities.

He went on to explain that all the animals at the park were raised there instead of being free-roaming and that he believed that sanctioned hunting areas like his could help the environment by cutting down on poaching and expanding people's appreciation for nature.

Images: Kunming Information Hub

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ah cool would be nice to go hunting!

This is just another example of the typical bullshit that happens here.
Sika deer? Really? It's nearly extinct in most parts of Asia. Why not use the land to, say, promote the development of the species and allow them to flourish?

But that wouldn't be profitable. Let's hunt and kill them instead, and charge a pittance for doing so. 8,000 RMB for an animal that can barely be found in the wild in this country? Why not encourage kind treatment of animals, rather than more abuse?

What a fucking joke. Cut down on poaching? If anything, it's going to encourage those sadistic enough to hunt that they should do it more often, and even more harmful for those who talk about exploding a sheep's head from ten meters like it's something "cool."

Agree entirely with above poster. This is awful, but you just know that it's going to work here because there are enough ignorant, new-money Chinese who will travel from afar just to be able to boast about it to their friends. Very sad development. The Sika will probably go the same way as the Yangtze river dolphin.

Well, to the last two posters all I have to say is ignorance is bliss, apparently so is stupidity. If you knew your facts, Sika deer are far from extinct and populations have been on the rise due to assistance in proper heard and game management from the US. If it is done properly the money can be used to increase herd as well as buy more land if needed and otherwise fund projects for restoring the wildlife in China in general.

I hope they use the funds well. To reintroduce other species and educate locals and the people of China how to take better care of their lands and wildlife.

"If it is done properly the money can be used to increase herd as well as buy more land if needed and otherwise fund projects for restoring the wildlife in China in general."

From what i read this is a business so why would anyone have reason to think any profits will be used to fund conservation projects?

And I'm not convinced that giving people guns to shoot cows at point blank range does much for conservation education. Possibly something I'm missing though...

caveman,

Can you read? I said in THIS COUNTRY. I'm well aware of the fact that they're abundant in Japan, and that introduced flocks exist in several states in the USA. They used to range all the way from Vietnam to northern China and Russia. Now where can they be found? Small pockets, mostly due to hunting and destruction of habitat. The Chinese have some amazing belief that the velvet horns of younger sika deer have magical medicinal properties, also helping to "thin out" the population.

Not only that, but among sika deer, there are several subspecies with different traits. For example, sika deer populations in Japan and Taiwan (also declining) have much fainter spots than those located on the mainland. So these subspecies could cease to exist.

If you're too lazy to read carefully but then accuse people of being stupid, at least know what you're talking about.

I really do worry about the humanity of such a venture when one of the employees condone killing a cow with a shotgun. I also think that exploding a sheep's head from 10 metres might take away the skill aspect that most hunters enjoy.

This type of business, if run properly, can benefit a region and the local people. Great swathes of forested areas and unfarmed land, whilst a great treat for hikers and ramblers, create little wealth for the poor and would inevitably eventually be developed as China's population keeps growing. A well-run hunting enterprise maintains the local environment, allows populations of other, smaller animals to thrive, causes zero pollution and creates jobs for locals. It would also help educate people on animal welfare (you have to breed and nurture animals before they're old enough to be hunted).

My fear for this venture is that, if the head honcho Mr. Dong knows nothing about hunting, the park will degenerate into a disgusting spectacle as giggling chinese businessmen take 5 shots with a .22 rifle to kill a Wild Boar. The emphasis on the guns is worrying as hunting should be about skill and an enjoyment of nature not the mindless blasting of helpless animals from short distance with an inappropriate firearm.

Whilst I know nothing about Sika deer, I find it ridiculous that anybody would consider hunting an endangered species. There are plenty of other animals with easily replenishable populations who provide sport and sale-able meat that could be substituted. I also suspect some false advertising if the park offer customers the chance to shoot wild boar, who are notoriously difficult to breed in captivity and are not prevalent in the wild. I expect a customer booked in on a boar hunt would probably end up shooting a grazing pig rather than a rampaging boar.

One upside of this project is that it would likely introduce populations of the hunted species into the wild. Whilst most animals will stick to their feeding zones, others will venture out of the park and eventually establish wild populations. Pheasant, boar, goats and hare are extremely hardy and unless they're confined in the most amazing pens will escape.

I really hope that this project is successful and is implemented in a humane way. I'm a great believer that projects such as these are feasible, profitable ways to create jobs in the countryside and, at the same time, protect the environment from human incursion and pollution. I'm sure many people baulk at the idea of killing animals for sport. In a perfect world, the countryside and nature would be available to all and there would be huge tracts of land preserved by government from the threat of pollution, deforestation etc. Sadly, that is not the case in most developed nations and impossible in emerging economies that have an immediate need for food and energy. A park like this is the price we pay for having a small corner of nature preserved even if the animals are not.

I imagine they will buy sika from Japan as that is probably cheaper than trying to buy them from a zoo or conservation here. They certainly aren't going to go out and capture deer in the wild to stock their park, that'd be too expensive.

A hunting park catering to tourists sounds super dangerous. I'm pretty sure Dick Cheney shot a guy in the face on some sort of quail hunting farm/park. Just the thought of Chinese tourists trying to hunt scares me.

If they were going to properly recreate some sort of "hunting" experience that resembled actual hunting, they'd need a pretty large area of forest kept in decently pristine condition.

If they are offering hare hunting for 100RMB though, I imagine the park might be not much more than glorified shooting ranges with animals for targets, which would be pretty pathetic. It would reduce the chance of drunk tourists shooting each other though.

A horrible image just flashed into my head. A pen full of hare. Drunk on baijiu, Mr Wang points out his favoured target. A lackey nips into the pen with a noose, grabs the unsuspecting semi-domesticated hare and disappears with it to the "range".

Wang totters over to the shooting area and is handed a pump action Beretta. He gives the signal and his hand-picked hare is tossed into the middle of the enclosure. It sits there looking confused. Wang airily points the gun at the hair, hiccoughs and the first shot misses by a few feet. The hare looks startled but there's nowhere to run. An employee comes up behind Wang and gives him a few shooting tips. Wang proceeds to blast the back legs off the hare. It shrieks and starts dragging itself away using it's front legs. Wang now has another go and misses, and then another, until he nails the hare up the behind. It lies there wailing and crying until eventually a lackey walks up and knocks it on the head.

Wang is presented with the mangled corpse which he holds aloft as the compulsory photo is taken. He then drops it as fast as possible and hurries to wash his hands. Now it's Mr. Zhang's turn to kill a boar.....

Totally disagree with above comments!
Sika deer are a Pest in NZ and are very common in various countries around the world.
If you have been to china you would realise that China is not the country to try and save animals! 250,000,000 chinese live and the other Billion survive, and this means by any way possible.

This park is very responsible. Breeding their own animals (which anyone is allowed to do!)
The best way to save an animal from extinction is to domesticate it。

Good on them。The restaurant across the street has a live male Phesant they trapped a few days ago, I think we will have it for lunch。

This operation is no different from hunting in the wild or a chicken farm。

Get your facts straight, Phsuedo-Greenies are the most annoying people I have ever met。

In addition to the mentioned game, they should also turn in a few convicted felons. I think you could get a good price for hunting people!!

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