Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Letter to the Editor of National Geographic

Please print retraction re National Geographic Article

Dear Editor,

I have always believed that National Geographic Magazine had public interests at heart and was a truth seeking magazine. How could you reconcile that interests with the facts that your magazine wrote about me and my project without ever contacting me to verify the facts? How can the core value of journalism -seeking truth and fairness, seeking always views of both sides, be totally ignored by your magazine?

Your article in the Chinese version of the Huaxia National Geographic (ISSN 1673-6971) Jan 2008 issue, Vol 67. On "China Tigers' Current Status Report" (page 40) wrote on page 55:
"On 23rd Nov, 2007, news from South Africa says one South China Tiger cub was born. Li Quan said, the cub would be taking rewilding training from early age. it would be returned to china after proper training. However, where in china could be the tigers' habitat? According to Li Quan's plans, domestic animals would be provided for tigers to hunt in the rewilding reserve of China, which would be open to public for tourism."

If your magazine has any journalist integrity, you would have easily interviewed me instead of printing such blatant lies.

If your reporter has any journalistic discipline, he/she could easily have checked our website, and found enormous amount of work has gone into the survey, selection, and planning for habitat restoration of the South China Tiger Pilot Reserves for the return of the South China Tigers, restoring the entire ecological chain and pushing time line to as far back as a few thousand years. This is unprecedented ground breaking work in terms of gaining new habitat for wildlife through returning the South China Tigers back to the Wild. Yet your magazine dismissed it with a single and wrong sentence!

Even if your magazine bears grudges against our project, you have the journalistic responsibility to interview me or my colleagues to get the other and true side of the story. To simply print untruthful facts about a ground breaking project you may disagree with is an insult to your readers' intelligence.

We have contacted your office in China who said they would check with the reporter. Unfortunately nearly three weeks have passed we have heard nothing.
I would like to ask you to get the facts straight and print a retraction. In the event you are not bothered to interview the very person you have wrongfully quoted, you can at least check the facts and reports on our website:

Further, I would like to ask your reporter, who is the source of thisinfo: "According to Li Quan's plans, domestic animals would be provided for tigers to hunt in the rewilding reserve of China???"

Thank you for your attention.

Li Quan
Founding Director

Save China's Tigers

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