The World’s Extinct Animals Cemetery

by K-Dean

Guo Geng created a cemetery for extinct animals in the Nanhaizi David's Deer Park in Beijing

In 1998, an animal protector named Guo Geng went to work at The Nanhaizi David’s Deer Park in Beijing. While working as an animal expert and volunteer at the park, he came up with the idea to build a cemetery for extinct animals within the park.

As a child, Geng took great interest in nursing injured or sick animals back to health and making small cemeteries for them if they died. He had no idea that when he grew up he would build a much larger cemetery for animals who became extinct due to human brutality.

There are approximately 145 tombstones in the cemetery toppled over on each other like dominos that cover a space of 100 meters. Geng designed the tombstones like this to demonstrate how the extinction of one species will trigger the extinction of related species. At the end of of the lines of falling tombstones stands a large concrete hand which represents people taking action to prevent animal extinction. Each stone is inscribed with the name of the species, as well as numbers in brackets which are the extinction dates released by World Conservation Union.

The park attracts many visitors every April 4th and 5th, for the day of Pure Brightness, a Chinese festival to commemorate the dead. Geng fears that with the rising numbers of species dying off, the park will not have enough room to accommodate all the extinct animals.

During ancient geological eras birds lost only one species every 300 years and animals lost one every 8000 years. During the 18th century birds and animals on average lost one of their species approximately every 10 years and from the 19th century to the middle of 20th century, birds and animals lost one of their species each and every year.

The cemetery, part of The Nanhaizi David’s Deer Park is about 66 hectares of land located where the wild David’s deer died out. David’s deer are a species that once flourished in China but became extinct in the 1900′s because of war and excessive hunting. In 1985, the existing deer scattered across Europe were returned to China and resettled in the park.

Read more:

Extinct animal graveyard in Beijing | China.org

Guo Geng, an animal protector | China

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