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Water deer feeling at home

SEVENTEEN native Chinese water deer are thriving at their new home in Shanghai - their original habitat.

The deer, introduced last October from the Zhoushan Islands in the neighboring Zhejiang Province, are living in a forest near the source of the Huangpu River in Songjiang District, today's Shanghai Morning Post reported.

Researchers have enclosed the deer and have grown plants and introduced water to their habitat which spreads over 108 mu (72,036 square meters).

Each deer carried a GPS device so it can be monitored 24 hours a day.

Before being released into the wild, the deer had been kept captive to adapt to the local environment.

The Chinese water deer is the largest mammal native to Shanghai, according to Pei Enle, director of the Shanghai Wildlife Protection Station.

It disappeared about a century ago with the rapid social development and population explosion.

The reintroduction of the mammal is crucial to diversify the animal life in Shanghai and improve the local ecosystems, Pei said.

Before these 17 deer, Shanghai had introduced other Chinese water deer to Pudong's Huaxia Park. Now there are 53 deer living in Shanghai.

The city's park authority plans to introduce more to large parks.


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