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Heavy snow traps hundreds and thousands of sheep in Xinjiang


11-15-2016 05:25 BJT

Extremely heavy snow hit the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, in Northwest China last Thursday. The three-day blizzard has impacted more than 160,000 sheep, who were forced to hurry to safety.

A worker clears snow at a pasture in Altay, northwest China

A worker clears snow at a pasture in Altay, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Nov. 14, 2016. Local people have stored livestock fodder to cope with continuous snowfall in Altay since Nov. 9. (Xinhua/Ye Erjiang)

The extreme weather since has left more than 160,000 head of sheep in danger around Altay in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Most of the sheep were on their way from their summer grazing areas to their winter ones. But now they can hardly move.

Local authorities have had to initiate emergency measures to help move the sheep to their grazing destination in time. But the blizzards are so severe that even rescuers are finding it difficult to reach the trapped sheep in time.

“I set out from the region of Naohai in the early morning. But now I’ve just gotten here. It’s extremely difficult to move. The visibility is low, and the snow is thick,” said Taledao, Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Bureau.

While diverting the shifting herds of sheep to nearby temporary pastures, local authorities are organizing manpower to send forage grass to the sheep as first-aid. Snow-plows have been mobilized to force through an opening to reach the other trapped sheep.

As of Monday, more than 60,000 head of sheep have been transferred to safety, and there are still 100,000 that remain to be settled.

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