Guide has pas­sion for vis­i­tors, mon­keys

China Daily (Canada) - - HOLIDAY - By MAZHIPING in Haikou mazhiping@chi­

Dur­ing Spring Fes­ti­val, the most im­por­tant Chi­nese hol­i­day for fam­ily gath­er­ings, 30-yearold Chao Zhua­nai greeted vis­i­tors from around the world with her crowds of rhe­sus mon­keys at Nan­wan Mon­key Is­land, a na­tional na­ture re­serve in south­ernHainan, China’s only trop­i­cal prov­ince.

This was Chao’s ninth Spring Fes­ti­val spent work­ing.

“If you’re lucky you can see the mon­keys fight for the ‘throne’ of mon­key king on the is­land, which usu­ally hap­pens dur­ing the win­ter sea­son. Every four years, dif­fer­ent groups of mon­keys will have a cruel and bloody ‘cam­paign’,” she said.

Vis­i­tors can learn many in­ter­est­ing sto­ries and knowl­edge about the mon­keys, which Chao her­self learned from books or re­search at Nan­wan, the world’s only trop­i­cal is­land for rhe­sus mon­keys.

The na­tion­ally pro­tected mon­keys, which num­bered about 100 on the is­land in the 1960s, have in­creased to the cur­rent 2,500 due to pro­tec­tion of the lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment. The mon­keys have formed them­selves into 29 groups, and on a whis­tle the well-trained mon­keys will rush down from the moun­tains in min­utes for food and games.

“I have spent eight Spring Fes­ti­vals at the mon­key is­land be­cause I en­joy the hol­i­day at­mos­phere here and I learn a lot from tourists with dif­fer­ent back­grounds. While help­ing tourists know more about the life of the mon­keys and the na­ture re­serve, I en­rich my life ex­pe­ri­ence through ex­changes with vis­i­tors,” Chao said.

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