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October 26, 2016

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The world’s largest milu reserve beckons

ON the way back from the zhiqing farm, you can take in the world’s largest reserve for Père David’s deer, or milu as it is known here, as well as the Dutch flower garden.

Milu, nicknamed “the four unlikes,” was common to the marshland in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. Due to climate change and other factors, they almost became extinct during the late Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220).

In the 1980s, 39 milu were reintroduced to Dafeng from the United Kingdom. Its population has since grown to over 3,200 now.

The Dafeng Milu Nature Reserve on the intertidal zone of the Yellow Sea is now ranked a 5A tourism spot in China. It is home to 41 other species as well, like cranes, white stork, white-tailed sea eagle as well as more than 90 varieties of birds.

Around June every year, a competition is held for the male milu. The winner gets to mate with the 200-odd female members to expand the milu population.

The milu “king” weighs about 250 kilograms on average and its buckhorn is nearly 1 meter long. All sexually mature milu can participate in the competition, which is usually when they are four years old.

The Dutch Flower Sea is designed with Dutch elements — the windmills, wooden houses, churches and a colorful sea of flowers including a large number of tulips and lilies.

More than 100 years ago, a Dutch hydraulic expert Hendrik de Rijke (1890-1919) was invited to design and build a modern farmland irrigation system in Dafeng. He successfully turned the seaside saline and alkaline land into fertile soil where crops and plants including cotton and tulip grow now.

A monthlong lily exhibition opened on October 1.


Milu Nature Reserve

Admission: 55 yuan

Opening time: 8am-6:30pm (May-October), 8am-5:30pm (November-April)

Address: South of Dafeng forest

Tel: (0515) 8339-1999


Dutch Flower Sea

Admission: 50 yuan

Opening time: 8:30am-5:30pm

Address: 1 Xinfeng Town

Tel: (0515) 8334-4520


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