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Man vs Nature

By Erik Nilsson in Yushu, Qinghai, and Hu Yongqi in Kunming, Yunnan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-03-02 07:47:30

Man vs Nature

Several wild elephants cross the Sixiao Highway, which runs across the Xishuangbanna nature reserve from Simao to Xiaomengyang in Yunnan province. Li Yunsheng / Xinhua

Man vs Nature
Creatures of habitat
Many parts of China with the best ecology endure the worst conflicts between humans and animals. Erik Nilsson in Yushu, Qinghai, and Hu Yongqi in Kunming, Yunnan, explore the frontlines of where the wild things are.

A bear set Baige's house on fire. Nearly all the nomadic Tibetan herder's possessions were incinerated when the animal knocked over his stove while raiding his food stores in Longma village in October 2012, he says. The 39-year-old had moved the stove in front of the door when he left home specifically to keep bears out. They frequently break in to gobble his pantry's stash. But since the furnace blocked the entrance, the bear had to knock it out of the way to get in, he explains. Baige says he'd underestimated the resolve the creature's appetite compelled.

Officials came to snap photos to document the damage and tally his destroyed valuables - mostly furniture, sheepskins and jewelry.

Officials gave Baige bedding, a new door and cash.

"But the compensation didn't cover the damage," he says.

While the fire may seem like a freak accident, the nomads sprinkled across the vast grasslands surrounding Qinghai province's Yushu say they're constantly in conflict with wild animals.

Related: Watching elephants raze a restaurant

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