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Wild China -

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(generated from captions) safer than they on from safer than they were. A year

are Sacred' report Rex wild says problems are yet to be addressed. We leave you tonight with more images from that auction in Adelaide of works by Hans Heysen. Thanks

week. for your company. Have a great

Closed Captions by CSI

was built by the Han Chinese The Great Wall of China

from the north. to keep out the nomadic tribes They called these people barbarians barren and uninhabitable. and their lands were considered a harsh place Northern China is indeed ferocious summers, of terrible winters, parched deserts. But it is far from lifeless. With colourful places, surprising creatures. Amazing people. And strange landscapes. the more extreme it becomes. The further we travel, So how do people and wildlife cope with the hardships and challenges of life beyond the Wall? THEME MUSIC were defined by the Great Wall The northern limits of ancient China from east to west. which meanders for nearly 5,000km of the Chinese heartland The settled Han people tribes from the north. were invaded many times by warlike the Han Chinese from invasion. The Great Wall was built to protect

To meet those fearsome northerners who share their world, and the wild creatures we must leave the shelter of the Wall and travel into the unknown. historically as Manchuria. Northeast China was known on the same latitude as Paris. Its upper reaches are of the coldest, But in winter, it is one most hostile places on the planet. Bitter winds from Siberia

of 40 degrees below zero. regularly bring temperatures cover these lands Dense forests of evergreen trees made even more difficult and the rugged terrain is by impenetrable ravines. on a frozen river We start our journey north-easternmost corner snaking between China's and Siberia. the Black Dragon River. The Chinese call it exactly fearsome warriors. The people who live here aren't the harsh winter conditions They're too busy coping with in some creative ways. and they respond to the challenge The Black Dragon River is home groups in China. to one of the smallest ethnic The Hezhen people. out of place in this icy world. It's not just bicycles that seem a long way from open water. Fishing boats and nets lie abandoned (MEN GREET EACH OTHER) swim a huge variety of fish Underneath a metre of solid ice, including 500-pound sturgeon. of Hezhen for weeks. Enough to feed a family But how can they catch their quarry? through the ice First they must chisel a hole to reach the water below. fishing net under the ice. Then they need to set their A real challenge. 20m away from the first A second hole is made and a weighted string is dropped in. (MEN TALK IN NATIVE LANGUAGE) is used to hook the string Then a long bamboo pole beneath the ice. and pull the net into position (MAN SPEAKS IN NATIVE LANGUAGE)

the nets are checked. After a few days,

a rare giant sturgeon. These days, almost nobody catches has been overfished The Black Dragon River like so many others. are a welcome catch. But even these smaller fish are guaranteed to stay fresh Frozen within seconds, the fish for the wobbly cycle ride home. of the Black Dragon River The forests that lie south for more than half the year. are bound up in snow It's deathly silent. are either hibernating Most of the animals here for the winter. or have migrated south But there is an exception. of the northeast. Wild boars roam the forests

Like the Hezhen people, to gather food in winter. the boars find it difficult To survive, they follow their noses - in the animal kingdom. among the keenest anything they unearth. They will eat almost is particularly valued. But one energy-rich food source

Walnuts. there's bound to be trouble. When a lucky boar finds a walnut, wild boars are social animals But despite the squabbles, and gather together in groups. to keep warm in the extreme cold. Staying close together may help them

for group living. There is another reason More ears to listen out for danger. in these forests. Siberian tigers also live But these days only in captivity. wild Siberian tigers left in China There may be less than a dozen in breeding centres. though there are many more (TIGERS GROWL)

This enclosure at Hengdaohezi stared breeding tigers in 1986

for the Chinese medicine market. to supply bones and body parts in China in the 1990s Trade in tiger parts was banned just a tourist attraction. and the breeding centre is now with North Korea Along China's border famous mountain - is this region's most Changbai Shan. Its name means "ever white" highest volcanic lake. and it harbours the world's

still ice everywhere. Even in mid-May, there's the seasons are changing. But there are signs that Warmer winds arrive from the south and within a few short weeks,

Changbai Mountain is transformed.

the mountainside once more Water begins to flow down replenishing the landscape. It's June and insects emerge the abundance of flowers. to take advantage of

of migrant birds. The warm weather sees the arrival in the south of China Stonechats that have spent the winter return here to raise their chicks. With so many insects around, have several broods. the stonechats may (CHICKS CHEEP) Heading west from Changbai Mountain, rolling grasslands. the forests give way to

into the distance The Great Wall stretches off of the vast Mongolian steppe. defining the southern limits of grassland. North of the wall are huge areas is particularly significant. But one place on our journey

red foxes is raising its cubs. In the tall grass, a family of

pretty much to themselves. Today, they have this meadow But it wasn't always the case. Eight centuries ago, this place would have been teeming with people. Now these ruins in a field a short distance from Beijing are all that remains of the great city of Xanadu. Once the summer capital of China. Within these walls, it is said that the leader of the Mongolians, the mighty Kublai Khan, welcomed Marco Polo to China. Mongolian warriors established the greatest empire in history, stretching to the borders of Europe. Fear of this warrior tribe is the main reason the Han Chinese built the Great Wall. The cornerstone of the Mongolian supremacy was their relationship with horses. This is what brought them such success in war. The Mongolian raiders travelled light and rode with spare horses so they could move huge distances, strike and then retreat quicker than their opponents. At the heart of Mongolian culture is horse-racing. The annual Naadam festival held each July is a chance for young Mongolians to show off their horsemanship. It's said that Mongolian people are born in the saddle. Even as children, they are consummate riders. TRADITIONAL HORN-BLOWING

TRADITIONAL MUSIC PLAYS PEOPLE CHEER (HORSE NEIGHS)

(MAN CALLS TO HORSE) Horsemanship was the core of the Mongolian success as warriors in the past and is central to their life as nomads today. In an area of grassland known as Bayanbulag families of nomadic Mongolians are gathering. The name, "Bayanbulag", means "rich headwaters" and they've come here to set up temporary homes to graze their livestock on the lush summer pastures. The search for fresh fodder for their animals keeps them on the go and being able to move home so easily is a real advantage. SHEEP BLEAT (MEN TALK IN NATIVE LANGUAGE) It takes only a few minutes for the Mongolian family to set up their yurts. But the Mongolians don't have this place all to themselves. (BIRDS HONK) The rich resources also attract a huge variety of birds. Demoiselle Cranes. Wading birds and waterfowl migrate here from all over Asia drawn to the rivers and wetlands, fed by glacial melt-water from nearby mountains. This place is known in China as Swan Lake.

It's the world's most important breeding site for Whooper Swans and arguably mosquitoes as well. MOSQUITOES BUZZ The pastures at Swan Lake provide endless amounts of lush grass for birds to nest in and for livestock to eat. It would seem there's plenty for everybody. But occasionally, they can get too close for comfort.

800 years ago, the Mongolians were the most feared people on earth. But they have a spiritual side as well. The birds of Swan Lake have little cause to worry. The Mongolians protect the swans and venerate them, calling them "Birds of God". The Great Wall's journey through northern China continues westward bisecting a landscape that becomes increasingly parched. Our journey has brought us halfway across northern China

and the grasslands are becoming hot, dry and desolate. Wandering these wastes are creatures that look more African than Asian. These are Goitered gazelles - skittish and easily startled. When threatened by danger, they're as fast as a racehorse. But in this intense heat, they favour a gentler pace. There's little standing water here. But the gazelles have a remarkable ability to extract moisture from dry grass, although finding enough worth eating keeps them constantly on the move. Even out here in the semi-deserts, the Wall continues its long march. Here, it's made of little more than compacted earth. But with hardly any rain falling, it's suffered very little erosion over the centuries. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives building it. Yet it seems hard to believe that anyone felt that these distant wastelands needed protecting. But the Wall still has one final surprise.

This is Jiayuguan - the mighty fortress in the desert. Built in the Ming Dynasty over 600 years ago, legend says that the construction of the fortress was so meticulously planned that 100,000 bricks were specially made and only one brick was left unused. This fortress marks the end of the Great Wall of China - the greatest man-made barrier on earth. formidable barrier. But ahead lies an even more that stretch westward A vast no-man's-land of deserts

to the borders of Central Asia. was considered to be Jiayuguan fortress civilisation. the last outpost of Chinese lay utter desolation. Beyond this point the Taklimakan, lies out here. China's largest desert, "you go in and you never come out". Its name has been translated as This is a place of intense heat, abrasive, wind-blown sand, totally hostile to life.

through the desert Yet, there was a route to risk their lives for it. for these brave enough the horrors of the deserts People were lured into had a secret so powerful because the Chinese the course of history. that it changed in the distant past. The key to that secret lies 5,000 years ago, Legend has it that around a princess was walking in her garden fell into her tea cup. when something unusual A magical thread was extracted than gold or jade. and it became more prized The thread... ..was silk.

substance Incredibly, such a beautiful and all the history behind it comes from a humble little insect - the silkworm. Silk moths lay several hundred eggs that emerge and the tiny caterpillars eat nothing but mulberry leaves. After 50 days of gluttony, they've grown 10,000 times heavier. By this stage, 25% of their body mass is made up of silk glands. adult moths, In the process of turning into a single strand of silk they spin a cocoon from which can be over 1,000m long. and brightness of silk fibres It was the legendary strength that made it so sought-after. people built great fortunes For over 5,000 years, on these delicate threads. and mighty kingdoms those ancient traders took And the desert routes became the fabled Silk Road. GONG SOUNDS hasn't changed since its discovery. The principle of extracting raw silk into boiling water Harvested cocoons are dropped which unravels the long filaments. spun into raw silk thread. These are then gathered and the ancient Silk Road, Here at Hotan, on a cottage industry silk weaving is still on wooden looms. done the old-fashioned way For the ancient Silk Road traders, to get the valuable silk the problem was still how from the fortress at Jiayuguan of Central Asia and beyond. through the deserts to the markets (CAMEL GRUNTS) (MAN MAKES URGING SOUNDS) west on the Silk Road Those early travellers heading voyage imaginable were setting off on the worst terrible places on earth. through some of the most (CAMELS GRUNT) tallest sand dunes. Starting with the world's from the west Strong winds whipping in blow the sand into ever higher dunes. Over millennia, megadunes build up. to over 500m tall. Walls of sand soaring Camels are the only beasts of burden monstrous dunes. that can tackle these and splay outwards Their feet are wide to stop them sinking in loose sand. the sand into dunes The wind that whips in China's western deserts. has created other bizarre shapes known as Yadangs Mysterious giant structures

were sculpted by flying sand. LOW HOWLING OF WIND to travellers in these deserts. The wind brought other hazards Marco Polo wrote, will hear the tramp and hum "Sometimes, the stray travellers of a great cavalcade of people away from the real line of march. be their own company, And taking this to they will follow the sound and when day breaks, they find that a cheat has been put on them and that they are in an ill plight." To this day, no-one knows what causes the sands in some parts of the desert to sing. (CAMEL GRUNTS) No wonder travellers call this place, "Fury of God" and "Sea of Death". But the most severe problem was lack of water. The reason this place is so intensely dry

can best be appreciated from a satellite view. China's deserts are the farthest place on Earth from any ocean. This lack of water is what created the Taklimakan. An area the size of Germany covered in sand dunes through which the Silk Road traversed. This is the world's largest shifting sand desert. (MAN CALLS) Most living creatures would die here. equipped for desert survival. But the camel is uniquely air as it breathes in, Its nose humidifies the dry desert then dehumidifies it on the way out conserving precious water. keeps it warm at night The camel's thick fur while reflecting sunlight by day. can rise by six degrees Celcius And its body temperature before it even begins to sweat. for days without drinking. With these adaptations, it can go travel through the desert For the camel trains, life-saving oasis and the next. is about moving between one

a drinking hole, When they finally do reach of water in 10 minutes. camels can drink up to 60 litres couldn't exist Without oases, life in the Taklimakan and travel would be impossible. in the desert. But nothing is permanent the extreme climate mean The shifting sands and can disappear. that these precious water sources at Aydingkol Lake. This is exactly what happened place on earth The lakebed is the second-lowest at 154m below sea level. It's the hottest place in China

as high as 50C with air temperatures recorded and ground temperatures up to 80C. have disappeared in these deserts. But it's not just water sources that and China's western borders Between Aydingkol are the ruins of many great cities.

thriving places. In their day, they were vibrant, But in the fifth century, the Silk Road's fortunes took a turn for the worse. Once again, a princess was involved. out of China. She smuggled silkworm eggs was a secret no more The secret of silk this lucrative trade was over. and China's stranglehold on Even when Marco Polo passed along the Silk Road in the 13th century, for over 500 years. many of these cities had been dead managed to survive. But the Silk Road's most famous city vast mountain ranges, Where the desert ends beneath China's western-most point is only a stone's throw from the borders of five Central Asian countries. where East meets West. This is Kashgar, the Silk Road ended up here The silk that travelled along where it's still traded today. (TALKS IN NATIVE LANGUAGE) Kashgar is famous for selling everything under the sun. is one of Asia's largest The local Sunday market

and most exuberant gatherings. (TALKS IN NATIVE LANGUAGE) But looking around the market, you're actually in China. it's hard to believe non-Chinese ethnic people - Kashgar is a melting pot of Uyghurs, Tajiks, Kyrgyz, Uzbeks and many others. Here, our journey heads northwards into one of China's wildest places. Leaving Kashgar and the Silk Road behind, we travel into the Tian Shan or "Heavenly Mountains". This great mountain range defines the border

between China's most north-western province and neighbouring Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Its majestic peaks are nearly as high as the Himalayas forming a natural Great Wall. For much of the year, it's bound up in ice. But the glacial melt-water allows evergreen forests to grow. A far cry from the desert south of here. These mountains are the gateway to some of China's most surprising people and places.

In the upland valleys, a family of Kazakhs has been grazing their livestock all summer on the lush, alpine meadows. (SPEAKS IN NATIVE LANGUAGE) It's autumn.

In a few weeks' time, winter snows will seal the mountain passes. So the Kazakhs have decided to break camp and move while they still can. (ANIMALS GRUNT AND LOW) Turning their backs on the mountain pastures, they have many long weeks of travel ahead of them along well-worn trails. Their destination could hardly be more different

from the Heavenly Mountain's lush pastures. These paths head into one of China's wildest and least known places. This is the Junggar Basin - an arid land that lies at the westernmost edge of the great Gobi Desert. The most northerly desert in the world. The Junggar is a place of surprises. This bizarre landscape is called the Five Coloured Hills and though very little lives here now, the ancestors of Tyrannosaurus rex once roamed these hills - their fossils only discovered in 2006. But the Five Coloured Hills are about to add another surprising colour to their palette. By early November, the hills are blanketed in snow, driven by icy winds from Siberia. Despite being at the same latitude as Venice, Asia's northern deserts have no nearby sea to warm them and so suffer bitterly cold winters. When it melts next spring, the snow will provide moisture for grasses and other plants to grow. Like almost everywhere beyond the Wall, the harsh conditions force people and wildlife to keep moving to find enough to survive. The Kazakhs have arrived from the Tian Shan Mountains to graze their animals on the meagre pickings in the Junggar. But the Kazakhs don't have this place all to themselves. Their winter migration routes take them past a fenced enclosure in the desert. The horses on this side of the fence aren't domestic animals like those belonging to the Mongolians and Kazakhs. These are the last wild horses on Earth. Millions of them once ranged all the way to Europe. But now they barely number in the hundreds. For part of the winter, the wild horses are quarantined

to stop them mating with the Kazakhs' horses.

That way, the gene pool of the rare wild animals can be kept pure. There is a bigger problem, however. The livestock and the wild horses compete for the same food.

Many Kazakh families and their flocks will pass through here over the winter.

By the time the wild horses can be released from the pen, much of the best forage will be gone. When there's so little to go round in the first place, it doesn't take much for the situation to turn critical. Even in the least inhabited parts of China, wildlife and people come into conflict

in the struggle to survive. Yet in this barren landscape, a remarkable association between people and wildlife persists. A tradition harking back almost 6,000 years. 82-year-old Xiu Ya carries on a tradition that has made the Kazakhs famous throughout China. Every winter for most of his life,

Xiu Ya has gone hunting with a golden eagle. This eagle is around five years old. It was taken from the wild as a chick and raised by Xiu Ya who trained it to return to him after each flight. He will keep this bird for a total of 10 seasons before setting it free. Foxes were once the favourite quarry for eagle hunters. These days, they almost never catch anything. As in many parts of China, wildlife is far scarcer here than it used to be. (PEEPS) When Xiu Ya finally releases this eagle, it will be the end of his hunting days. Many of the younger generation of China's nomads are moving to modern cities and leaving their traditions behind, their lives no longer ruled by the changing of the seasons. Back in the northeast in mid-winter, the Great Wall still dominates the landscape. Originally built to keep out dangerous warriors, today, it is little more than a curiosity. The Han Chinese whose ancestors built the Wall now live in great cities like Harbin far to the north. Each year, the artists of Harbin get ready for a special winter celebration. Giant blocks of ice from nearby rivers undergo a magical transformation. Tourists flock to Harbin from all over China to see the spectacular carvings and the ice city that has sprung up all around. (SPEAKS IN NATIVE LANGUAGE) (SQUEALS) It takes 10,000 people 18 days to construct this icy wonderland. It's impressive enough by day. But the magic of this place only becomes apparent once the sun goes down. Northern China can be a harsh place. But also a place of great beauty. The Harbin Ice Festival shows how attitudes have changed since the Great Wall was built. No longer are the extremes of life beyond the Wall merely to be feared.

(LAUGHTER) Now it is possible to celebrate them too. LAUGHTER AND CLAPPING Closed Captions by CSI

CC

Good evening Felicity Davey

with an ABC News update. Zimbabwe's President has set

himself on a collision course

with the international

community. As the country

approaches its run-off

election, Robert Mugabe vowed

to fight to hold on to power.

The harassment of the main

Opposition party is

intensifying with leader Morgan

Tsvangirai arrested again. We

are prepared to fight for our

country. To go to war. Our

concern, and the concern of

most countries around the world

is that Mr Mugabe will steel

the election. The second

presidential election is set to

be held on 27 June. One year

on the intervention into the remote Northern Territory

Aboriginal communities has been

slammed as ineffective. The

Federal Government responded to the 'Little Children Are

Sacred' report by taking

control of 72 remote

communities. Despite all the

rhetoric, they haven't attacked

the basic fundamental underlying dysfunctionality in

strong enough terms. The AMA announced today its withdrawing

its members services from the

intervention. A plan to

persuade Iran to dump its

nuclear ambillingses ends in

disarray. The European Union

offered assistance to build

nuclear reactors for generating

electricity, not for making

weapons, Tehran ruled out

suspending uranium inrichment,

the focus of international

fears that it wants to make a

bomb. It's an indication to the

Iranian people that their

leadership is willing to

isolate them further. Crude

oil prices skyrocketed last

week after a top Israeli

official said an attack on

Iran's nuclear facilities was

unavoidable. Cities in

America's mid-west brace for a

deluge as a flood moves downstream. Thousands have

been forced to flee as

floodwaters threatened to

breach levees, property losses

have been estimated to exceed

$700 million. The state of

Iowa has been drenched by weeks

of heavy rain, more falls

forecast. It was an elaborate

rescue operation saving the

lives of two truck drivers in

WA, stranded in a raging river,

and their rescuerers using a

helicopter and a jet ski are

considered for awards.

The raging Nulligine River

river in WA's Pilbara was too

strong for the drifrts in these

heavy mining trucks when they

tried to cross it. A

35-year-old man from Perth and

a 40-year-old from Queensland

clung to their frucks in raging

floodwaters. A third driver

swam to shore. The trucks

attempted the crossing east of

the Marble Bar when one truck

was swept off. Police called

Warrawagine Station for assistance. We thought if they

are in the river, probably the

best option will be to take the

jet ski down, at least that way

we can get out to them and help

get them out of the trucks.

Geoffrey Mills and his brother

drove 160km in heavy rain to

get to the site. Meanwhile

their father Robin Mills and

pilot Ian Walton used a

helicopter to reach them.

Wasn't scared, but my little

heart was pumping, there was no

question on that, it was

tricky, the wind was giving us

a fair amount of hassles, and I

just felt real bad for the guys

in that situation. The men were

able to drop thermal blankets

and a two-way radio to the

drivers, who were rescued by

Jett ski and taken to Port

Hedland hospital for a check-up

but were released. Police are

considering bravery awards for

the rescuers. In North

Queensland a base jumper

survived a fall of 260 metres

after his parachute failed to

open. Emergency service crews

were called to the Wallaman

Falls this morning, the man

landed in the water narrowly

missing the rocks. He's in

Townsville hospital with a

suspected broken leg and

pelvis, and internal injuries.

A dozen paintings by one of

Australia's most recognised

landscape artist went under the

hammer. The auction of Hans

Heysen paintings was the

largest in 20 years. The South

Australian artist was famous

for his works depick the Adelaide Hills, Flinders Ranges

and the outback. They ranged

from charcoals and watercolours, fetching up to

$36,000 a piece. A look at the

weather, dry and sunny across

the nation with the exception

of Perth and Sydney where

showers are forecast. That is

the latest from the ABC

television newsroom for now,

for updates ABC online and ABC

News. Goodnight. I need to watch Good Game. What's happened to our TV? We've got a new TV, cool. But where's the set top box gone? In my room with the old TV. This has a built-in digital receiver. We don't need the set top box. It still needs to be tuned to ABC2. That's good. When I watch Collectors, Andy will look even better. Aw, Mum! Here, I'll tune it for you. Remember, it's channel 22. I know. Look, it hasn't moved. Voila! ABC2.

THEME MUSIC I baptise thee Catherine in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. NARRATOR: 'No-one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy would have supposed her born to be a heroine.

Her situation in life, the character of her father and mother and her own person and disposition were all equally against her. A family of 10 children, of course, will always be called 'a fine family' where there are heads and arms and legs enough for the number. But the Morlands were, in general, very plain. And Catherine, for many years of her life, as plain as any. Neither was it very wonderful that Catherine - who had, by nature, nothing heroic about her - should prefer cricket and baseball to dolls and books. But by the age of 15, appearances were mending. Catherine Morland was in training for a heroine.' Yes! Oh! Oh! You know, our Catherine has turned out rather well. (LAUGHS) Come on, Catherine, let's carry on. No, later, later. She's quite a good-looking girl. She's almost pretty today. And she's grown very fond of reading of late. I wonder if it can be good for her, my dear, to read quite so many novels. Oh, why ever not? What could be a more innocent or harmless pastime for a young girl than reading? (CATHERINE READS) "He was interrupted by a noise in the passage leading to the room. It approached, the doors unlocked, a man entered, forcibly dragging behind him a beautiful girl, her features bathed in tears and suffering the utmost distress." Take her somewhere where they'll never see her, boy.