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11:15 Dec 18 2009

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Hoh Xil, home of Tibetan antelopes
11:15, December 18, 2009  


The Tibetan antelope, or Chiru, was one of the mascots of the Beijing Olympics. It is indigenous to the Tibetan plateau. (China Daily Photo)


Hoh Xil is the least populated area in China. The region covers 83,000 sq km at an average elevation of 4,800 m. Despite the harsh climate, Hoh Xil is home to more than 230 species of wild animals, 20 of which are under state protection. Traveling to the area remains a controversial issue due to the potential impact human activities have on the local ecology and environment.

The Tibetan antelope, or Chiru, was one of the mascots of the Beijing Olympics. It is indigenous to the Tibetan plateau.

The Chiru's wool, known as shahtoosh, is warm, soft and fine. The wool can only be obtained by killing the animal. Its numbers have dropped accordingly from nearly one million around 1900 to less than 75,000 today.

Source: China Daily

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