Posted by Jeremy Goldkorn on Monday, June 25, 2007 at 5:47 PM
Some recent encounters with real wildlife in and around Beijing:
1. Hog Badger
Hog badger in Thailand
Yesterday, on a path in a forest in the mountains north of Miyun during a hail storm, your correspondent encountered a beast that ran like a dog but had a snout like a pig. The beast and I both stopped, shocked, then it ran off into the undergrowth.
It seems that the beast was a hog badger. According to Internet sources (Badgerinfo and Badger Pages), the species is found throughout much of south east Asia and China. Not much is known about the hog badger, but its survival is threatened by deforestation and hunting.
From Steve Jackson's Badger Pages (also source of image reproduced here):
2. Huang Shulang
This animal lives in hutongs in central Beijing, and has been spotted several times in the last few months by your correspondent in Dongcheng District. In Chinese it's called huang shu lang (黄鼠狼) colloquially, or huang you (黄鼬). It seems to be the Yellow Weasel (Mustela sibirica).
Image from Baidu Baike
Baidu's Baike encyclopedia says that the weasel does not have a good reputation because of a proverb about weasels who 'steal chickens under the guise of wishing a family happy new year'. However, according to a few Dongcheng residents, it is lucky to see a weasel.
If any Danwei readers have more information about hog badgers or about folk customs associated with the huang shulang please leave them in the comments or email jeremy at danwei.org.
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