Police officers in Dromo county of the Tibet autonomous region rescued a wounded golden eagle chick while on patrol recently. The species is under national first-class protection in China.
The chick was discovered on the road by Pema Tsetan and Tenzin Sonam, two officers assigned to the county's Pari border police station, during a routine patrol last Saturday night. The chick was in critical condition and could only walk slowly.
"Using protective equipment, we carefully took it back to the station," Pema Tsetan said. "It was placed in a carton and given water and food."
The next day it was transferred to the county's forestry and grassland bureau for further treatment. It recovered and was released back into the wild,
"Besides providing safety for people in the community, a policeman's duty includes protecting animals. I feel proud and pleased that we saved the life of a rare animal," Pema Tsetan said.
Earlier, in October, officers at the station received a call from local residents about a wounded adult golden eagle.
People were afraid to get close to it. Cooperating with the county's forestry and grassland bureau, police officers saved the big bird.
Pari township, at an average altitude of 4,000 meters, is known for the Pari Grassland, which is home to many rare species, including black-necked cranes and golden eagles.
"We will continue to work with local residents to safeguard nature and to promote awareness of ecological preservation," said Nyima Drolkar, another police officer at the station.
The Pari border police station has 30 officers, many of whom only get a chance to go home once a year.
The average temperature of the area is 10 C, with mostly snowy weather between November and May, and rain after June each year. The officers' work, including patrols, is done mostly at altitudes between 4,300 meters and 4,700 meters.
"The police station has rescued animals a few times in the past, but they do not have any professional equipment－only simple gloves and some cartons. We want to prepare some cages," Nyima Drolkar said.
He added that the police officers love animals. They now have two dogs at the police station, one of them an adopted stray.
In 2013, the station was recognized as a model for border police in China.
He said the environment in this area is healthy, with varieties of wildlife including eagles, cranes, Tibetan foxes, yellow ducks and marmots－all seen frequently on the grassland.
"Pari township's five villages and communities are all in nomadic areas, and most residents are highly aware of ecological protection," Nyima Drolkar said. "Every time they see animals that are injured or sick, they report them to the police immediately."
Every village has an ecological protection team, with an average of 20 people each. They perform ecological patrols and receive payment from the government for their efforts.
By PALDEN NYIMA and DAQIONG in Lhasa