Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / Travel / Features

'Raptor doctor' sees dreams take flight

By Yang Feiyue | China Daily | Updated: 2022-02-08 09:18
Share - WeChat
A goshawk Li Simin rescued and released back to nature.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Li started to work in delivery services in Wuhan in 2010. Whenever he found struggling birds caught in the nets put up by local farmers on delivery routes, he would get off his motorcycle and go to their rescue.

In his spare time, Li made a point of further learning about bird rescue and medical treatment online and from experts at the Beijing Raptor Rescue Center, established in 2001 by the International Fund for Animal Welfare and Beijing Normal University.

He also joined a rescue team at the Wuhan Bird Watching Society in 2016.

"You can see the light in his eyes when he spends time with raptors," says Yan Jun, chairman of the society.

"He is eager to learn about birds and very gentle, meticulous and patient in treating them," Yan says.

In Li's home, normal saline, syringes and eye masks of various sizes are always ready for any bird emergencies.

He has also developed various gadgets to help wounded birds to recover.

Once, a volunteer sent Li a kestrel that couldn't stand up.

He used ice pop sticks as a brace and made a bed out of old clothes on a wash basin.

The kestrel was nurtured back to health after two weeks under Li's care.

Local law enforcement has stepped up efforts against illegal bird hunting and Li and other environmental protection volunteers have been removing bird nets.

During the 2017 Spring Festival holiday, they dismantled 12 nets and saved more than 40 birds.

They have also been publicizing bird protection knowledge among local villagers, who have taken the initiative to use more scientific approaches to protect both their crops and birds.

In 2017, Li was named one of 13"most beautiful wildlife guardians" by the Hubei Wildlife Conservation Association.

To date, Li has rescued and released more than 100 raptors and in 2019, he joined efforts to track some of the raptors that received aid.

"It needs long-term observation to keep track of their recovery and survival skills in the wilderness," Li says. "If something goes wrong, they could be located and receive secondary aid."

Li checks the birds' flying data on a daily basis.

In particular, he has kept close tabs on a northern goshawk for about three years.

Northern goshawks usually come back to Hubei for winter.

"All of its flying data are good and show its migration routes along the mountains," he says.

Li often drives to the Bafen Mountain area, where he observes raptors with a telescope, especially during autumn and winter when many of the birds migrate back to Wuhan or regions down south.

He also keeps an eye on the birds' breeding, species, numbers and positioning, and reports information back to the local authority, ensuring measures can be implemented.

"The environment in the Bafen Mountain has become increasingly better," Li says, as bird numbers increase.

To his immense relief, more people are aware of the importance of protecting birds.

Speaking about his future plans, Li says he wants to build a bird rescue center, where he can work with more like-minded volunteers.

|<< Previous 1 2 3   
Most Popular
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349