Guns versus sticks: One Chinese grandfather’s fight against poachers

Society & Culture

In this final part of our five-part Conservation China series, environmental photographer Kyle Obermann goes high up into Jiuding Mountain in Sichuan Province with Yu Jiahua, a veteran park ranger who has been protecting the area against poachers since 1995.

SupChina illustration by Derek Zheng

In this final part of our five-part Conservation China series, environmental photographer Kyle Obermann goes high up into Jiuding Mountain in Sichuan Province with Yu Jiahua, a veteran park ranger who has been protecting the area against poachers since 1995. Of course, poachers have guns, while rangers are armed with sticks — and only those used for hiking.

“Have you ever encountered poachers with guns on the mountain?” I asked him. “What do you do?”

“Yes, a few times, it’s very dangerous,” Yu replied, his weathered face and sharp eyes giving off a rare twinkle through his usually somber complexion. “When we do, it all depends on how many numbers we have…”

Click through to read more, or browse the other stories from the series.