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Zhinong Xi (49) More files...
When Xi Zhinong was 19 years old, a Chinese film crew shooting in his native Yunnan province hired him as an assistant. Their subject was the region's rich bird life. An avid observer of wild animals, Xi had a special fondness for birds -- one not shared by the crew's cinematographer. 'The cameraman didn't like birds at all,' Xi remembers. "In order to film some newly hatched chicks, he tied their legs to the nest. But after he finished filming he didn't bother to untie them". The next day Xi found the chicks dead in their nest. "I was really furious,"he says. "That day I decided to become a cameraman myself, so I could film free-flying birds in Yunnan."

Xi went on to create China's first and only wildlife film and photography agency, Wild China Film, with his journalist wife Shi Lihong. Xi specializes in the wildlife of Western China, especially endangered species such as the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey, the world's highest-altitude primate. He was the first photographer ever to capture this rare creature in the wild, garnering national media attention. "We knew the monkeys were being poached," says Xi. "Then I discovered a scheme by the local government to do logging in the monkey's habitat." Xi petitioned higher authorities to intervene. His letter and photograph of a snub-nosed monkey madonna and child made their way to national newspapers, and the story ended up on China's all-powerful CCTV television network. "Almost immediately the central government ordered the local government to stop the logging," says Xi. "And two years later, China issued a logging ban on all old-growth forest." Since then, Yunnan's snub-nosed monkey population has surged.
Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) family huddling together for warmth, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00444315 Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) family huddling together for warmth, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China© Xi Zhinong
Yak (Bos grunniens mutus) portrait of large adult, Tibet  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610027 Yak (Bos grunniens mutus) portrait of large adult, Tibet© Xi Zhinong
Golden Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) mother holding baby to keep warm, Qinling Mountain, Shaanxi Province, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00444250 Golden Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) mother holding baby to keep warm, Qinling Mountain, Shaanxi Province, China© Xi Zhinong
Przewalski's Gazelle (Procapra przewalskii) running on grassy, snow covered ground with mountains in the background, near Qinghai Lake, Qinghai Province, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610020 Przewalski's Gazelle (Procapra przewalskii) running on grassy, snow covered ground with mountains in the background, near Qinghai Lake, Qinghai Province, China© Xi Zhinong
Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) feeding on lichen, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00444312 Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) feeding on lichen, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China© Xi Zhinong
Chiru (Pantholops hodgsonii) three females grazing, Kekexili, Qinghai Province, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610034 Chiru (Pantholops hodgsonii) three females grazing, Kekexili, Qinghai Province, China© Xi Zhinong
Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) family group grazing, Qinling Mountains, Shaanxi, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610063 Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) family group grazing, Qinling Mountains, Shaanxi, China© Xi Zhinong
Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) adult portrait, Qinling Mountains, Shaanxi, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610050 Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) adult portrait, Qinling Mountains, Shaanxi, China© Xi Zhinong
Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) holding lichen, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00444316 Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) holding lichen, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China© Xi Zhinong
Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) family huddling together for warmth, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00444319 Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) family huddling together for warmth, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China© Xi Zhinong
Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) pair grooming, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00444324 Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) pair grooming, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China© Xi Zhinong
Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) family, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00444326 Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) family, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China© Xi Zhinong
Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) feeding on lichen, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China  -  Xi Zhinong
00444329
00444329 Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) feeding on lichen, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China© Xi Zhinong
Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) in tree, Weixi County, Yunnan Province, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610070 Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) in tree, Weixi County, Yunnan Province, China© Xi Zhinong
Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) feeding on bark, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00444335 Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) feeding on bark, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China© Xi Zhinong
Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) feeding on young leaves, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00444338 Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) feeding on young leaves, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China© Xi Zhinong
Tonkin Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus avunculus) pair finding shelter from rain, Ha Giang, Vietnam  -  Xi Zhinong
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00444343 Tonkin Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus avunculus) pair finding shelter from rain, Ha Giang, Vietnam© Xi Zhinong
Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) family group grazing, Qinling Mountains, Shaanxi, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610062 Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) family group grazing, Qinling Mountains, Shaanxi, China© Xi Zhinong
Tonkin Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus avunculus) mature male, Ha Giang, Vietnam  -  Xi Zhinong
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00444353 Tonkin Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus avunculus) mature male, Ha Giang, Vietnam© Xi Zhinong
Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) in tree, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00444358 Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) in tree, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China© Xi Zhinong
Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) climbing tree, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00444357 Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) climbing tree, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China© Xi Zhinong
Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) babies playing, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00444359 Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) babies playing, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China© Xi Zhinong
Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) mother grooming her baby, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00444361 Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) mother grooming her baby, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China© Xi Zhinong
Chiru (Pantholops hodgsonii) newborn calf on the ground, Kekexili, Qinghai Province, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610030 Chiru (Pantholops hodgsonii) newborn calf on the ground, Kekexili, Qinghai Province, China© Xi Zhinong
Chiru (Pantholops hodgsonii) small herd of four females walking across barren plain with mountains behind, Ari, Tibet  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610035 Chiru (Pantholops hodgsonii) small herd of four females walking across barren plain with mountains behind, Ari, Tibet© Xi Zhinong
Chiru (Pantholops hodgsonii) young male, Kekexili, Qinghai Province, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610039 Chiru (Pantholops hodgsonii) young male, Kekexili, Qinghai Province, China© Xi Zhinong
Tibetan Wild Ass (Equus hemionus kiang) herd standing alert on grassy plain, Kekexili, Qinghai Province, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610040 Tibetan Wild Ass (Equus hemionus kiang) herd standing alert on grassy plain, Kekexili, Qinghai Province, China© Xi Zhinong
Tibetan Wild Ass (Equus hemionus kiang) three walking on grassy plain, Kekexili, Qinghai Province, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610043 Tibetan Wild Ass (Equus hemionus kiang) three walking on grassy plain, Kekexili, Qinghai Province, China© Xi Zhinong
Tibetan Wild Ass (Equus hemionus kiang) herd running across Tibetan Plateau, Qinghai, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610047 Tibetan Wild Ass (Equus hemionus kiang) herd running across Tibetan Plateau, Qinghai, China© Xi Zhinong
Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) adult standing on rocky ground, Qinling Mountains, Shaanxi, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610052 Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) adult standing on rocky ground, Qinling Mountains, Shaanxi, China© Xi Zhinong
Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) adult portrait, Qinling Mountains, Shaanxi, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610051 Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) adult portrait, Qinling Mountains, Shaanxi, China© Xi Zhinong
Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) feeding on bark, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00444334 Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) feeding on bark, Baima Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China© Xi Zhinong
Logged forest in the habitat osf the Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti), Deqin, Yunnan Province, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610054 Logged forest in the habitat osf the Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti), Deqin, Yunnan Province, China© Xi Zhinong
Golden Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) female on the snow covered ground, Qinling Mountain, Shaanxi Province, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00444272 Golden Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) female on the snow covered ground, Qinling Mountain, Shaanxi Province, China© Xi Zhinong
Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) juvenile in tree, Weixi County, Yunnan Province, China  -  Xi Zhinong
00610068
00610068 Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) juvenile in tree, Weixi County, Yunnan Province, China© Xi Zhinong
Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) adult feeding in tree, Weixi County, Yunnan Province, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610071 Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) adult feeding in tree, Weixi County, Yunnan Province, China© Xi Zhinong
Tonkin Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus avunculus) family in trees, Ha Giang, Vietnam  -  Xi Zhinong
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00444346 Tonkin Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus avunculus) family in trees, Ha Giang, Vietnam© Xi Zhinong
Golden Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) group searching for corn seeds, Qinling Mountain, Shaanxi Province, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00444248 Golden Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) group searching for corn seeds, Qinling Mountain, Shaanxi Province, China© Xi Zhinong
White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) portrait, Germany  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610000 White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) portrait, Germany© Xi Zhinong
Golden Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) female with baby, Yunnan, China  -  Xi Zhinong/ npl
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00411983 Golden Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana) female with baby, Yunnan, China© Xi Zhinong/ npl
Timber Wolf (Canis lupus) adult standing on bare ground, looking back over its shoulder, Kekexili, Qinghai Province, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610025 Timber Wolf (Canis lupus) adult standing on bare ground, looking back over its shoulder, Kekexili, Qinghai Province, China© Xi Zhinong
Logged forest in the habitat osf the Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti), Deqin, Yunnan Province, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610056 Logged forest in the habitat osf the Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti), Deqin, Yunnan Province, China© Xi Zhinong
Tiger (Panthera tigris) confiscated skins from Yunnan-Burma border, Yunnan Province, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610016 Tiger (Panthera tigris) confiscated skins from Yunnan-Burma border, Yunnan Province, China© Xi Zhinong
Songzanlin Monastery, also called Guihua Monastery, the largest Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Yunnan Province, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610015 Songzanlin Monastery, also called Guihua Monastery, the largest Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Yunnan Province, China© Xi Zhinong
Red-crowned Crane (Grus japonensis) adult flying, Heilongjiang Province, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610013 Red-crowned Crane (Grus japonensis) adult flying, Heilongjiang Province, China© Xi Zhinong
Yak (Bos grunniens mutus) front view of large adult, Tibet  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610028 Yak (Bos grunniens mutus) front view of large adult, Tibet© Xi Zhinong
Tibetan Wild Ass (Equus hemionus kiang) herd standing alert in snowy plain with mountains behind, Asia  -  Xi Zhinong
00610046
00610046 Tibetan Wild Ass (Equus hemionus kiang) herd standing alert in snowy plain with mountains behind, Asia© Xi Zhinong
Tibetan village and agricultural fields in Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) habitat, Tibet  -  Xi Zhinong
00610059
00610059 Tibetan village and agricultural fields in Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) habitat, Tibet© Xi Zhinong
Blood Pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus) perched in tree, Qinling Mountains, Shaanxi, China  -  Xi Zhinong
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00610061 Blood Pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus) perched in tree, Qinling Mountains, Shaanxi, China© Xi Zhinong
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