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November 5, 2009

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Endangered deer start comeback in park

A DOZEN Chinese water deer, a species missing from the Shanghai area for some 100 years, made new homes yesterday in the Binjiang Forest Park in Pudong New Area.

It was the first step in an effort to return the animal to all local rural areas over the next 10 years.

The eight females and four males are expected to get used to the environment over the next few months and deliver baby deer between May and July, researchers said.

"What a beautiful picture that we sit on the lawn with these deer walking around. It is my dream and the dream of all wild-animal researchers and protectors," said Zhang Endi, a professor of East China Normal University's School of Life Science and the project's major researcher.

Zhang said after the deer get acclimated to the park's "half-wild" environment in a year or two, his group will introduce them to rural areas in the Outer-Ring Road.

The deer were prolific in local districts of Qingpu and Fengxian in the 1880s, but disappeared from in the early 20th Century.


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