Story 1: Respecting the biodiversity of wildlife

Story 1: Respecting the biodiversity in nature
Life Event: Respect the right to live in nature
Balance between environmental protection and economic development
Values and Attitude: Respect the environment and wildlife
Theme: Environmental Education
I am a red-crowned crane that people seem to like a lot. Many members of my species
have been kept in zoos for a long time. Life there may be good, but lacks the freedom
of being in the nature. I had experienced such a life before. It was not bad at all.
However, as I know more about the world, my wish to return to nature becomes
Such a wish has now come true for my companions and me. My caretakers have
transferred me from the rearing area to the Heilongjiang nature reserve. I must thank
them for having taken good care of us and prepared us for our return to nature.
The Chinese have been very friendly towards cranes like us. They make paintings of
us. And one of their proverbs, “like a crane above the roosters”, is used to praise
talented people. Other idioms, including “a crane’s long life” and “a crane’s age”, are
used to convey wishes of longevity. This has improved our standing considerably.
What I appreciate most is the ancient classic “The Book of Songs”, which has a poem
titled “Aesthetics of a Crane’s Song” which includes these two lines: “A crane was
calling by “jiu gao”, its song reaching the wilderness.” It means that when we sing by
the waters, our songs could be heard far away in the wilderness.
True, we belong to nature. We live in nature and this is very important to other
wildlife. Due to the logging of forests and the illegal hunting activities of some people,
one wildlife species becomes extinct in every hour. Through the food chain, the
extinction of a wildlife species will lead to the extinction of another. Our return to
nature is an important step in maintaining biodiversity.
Now there are only 15 crane species. Eight of them are found in China. Five of them
are endangered species and are facing extinction.
I really wish that we could live in nature from generation to generation peacefully
together with human beings.
Questions for Discussion:
1. Raise examples of endangered animals in Hong Kong and other regions. How
would it affect us if these animals become extinct?
2. Why do we have to protect nature and wildlife? How do we protect them?
3. Why does the story’s character “wish that we could live in nature peacefully
together with human beings from generation to generation”?
4. If wildlife like cranes belongs to nature, then why are they kept in zoos? And
if they are living well in the zoos, why have they been taken back to nature?
5. After returning to nature, what kind of difficulties will the red-crowned cranes
in the story be facing? What kind of preparation would they need in advance?
6. If you were the red-crowned crane of the story, would you choose to return to
nature or stay in the zoo? Why?
Extended Activities:
1. Collect pictures and information of other endangered species
2. Visit the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens to see the redcrowned cranes