|CAVING & SPELEOLOGY
CERS maintains one of the two active teams of cavers in China. Based at our Nature and Culture Conservation Center in Kunming at Yunnan University, this team has collaborated with fellow cavers and scientists from many countries, including Slovenia, France, the U.K., Romania, Bulgaria and Vietnam. Zhang Fan, who is also CERS China Director, leads the team. Zhang and CERS associate Liu Hong hold the Yunnan vertical depth record of 267 meters, set during one of their exploration trips. The team also helped organize and participated in China’s first international caving competition, held in Guizhou.
ZOOLOGICAL KINGDOM OF THE UNDERWORLD
Translated by Wong How Man
Over lunch, I raised my glass to toast Mengyuan Village Chief Ayan, our host who is of Dai minority, after we completed exploring the cave. Four of us in our team started our exploration on August 29 soon after we arrived at the nature reserve of Xishuangbanna in southern Yunnan. In all, we explored a series of four caves to map and identify the biodiversity within these caves.
“Bao Niu Jiao Dong”, or Precious Bull Horn Cave, is the largest and took fully three days to explore. The other three caves took an additional three days. For the last few days, Ayan send two villagers each day to deliver food inside the cave for us. For us who lived in darkness all day long, such simple meal with rice and roast pork surpassed any banquet.