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Campaign To Make Tibetan Antelope the 2008 Olympic Mascot

[Source: ChinaTibet Network. February 9, 2004; Courtesy of Tibet Justice Center.]

Qinghai Kekexili Nature Reserve Park, located in Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, announced that they submitted the Tibetan Antelope as a candidate for the mascot of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Other candidates include the Panda, Huanan Tiger and the Monkey King, the legendary monkey who assisted a Chinese monk in bringing Buddhism to China from India. The campaign to make the Tibetan Antelope the 2008 Olympic mascot has been conceived to raise awareness about the endangered species that is hunted for its fine wool, shatoosh. The announcement drew much attention among environmental groups as well as the Olympic Committee.

The manager of Kekexili Nature Reserve said that the Tibetan Antelope possesses the spirit of the Olympic Games. The Tibetan Antelope signifies strength and endurance by living in a very harsh environment, at an altitude between 4700-5000 meters. The Tibetan Antelope is also known for its speed as it can run upto 70-110 kilometers per hour. The Tibetan Antelope also symbolizes peace, as it has a gentle nature and does not harm other animals.


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