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Eco Warriors Smash Up Wrong Butterfly Beauty Spot

Eco Warriors Smash Up Wrong Butterfly Beauty Spot

Vandals have damaged a nature reserve in China after mixing it up with another resort with the same name where butterflies were pinned live to a model's dress as part of a sick PR stunt.

The attack, which involved shops being smashed and a butterfly tomb being put up in a car park at the park, took place at the Bao Tianman Nature Reserve in Neixiang county, in Nanyang city.

But this was not the place where dozens of rare live butterflies were pinned to a model's dress to promote its new butterfly festival. This happened in the Bao Tianman Scenic Spot located in Nanzhao County in Henan Province in central China, which is another resort some 120 miles away.

The tourism officials at the Bao Tianman Scenic Spot located in Nanzhao County in Henan had used steel pins to impale butterflies onto a woman's dress as part of the bizarre PR bid to highlight the region's natural beauty, and especially the region's abundance of butterflies.

But although eco-tourism has been identified in China as one of the fastest-growing economic sectors the organisers of the Butterfly Festival it seems did not really understand the basic idea of conservation.

As a result the first Bao Tianman Scenic Spot Butterfly Festival took place with the highlight of the festival being an appearance of the butterfly fairy, complete with impaled butterflies.

Children burst into tears and adults stood up in disgust and left when the woman appeared in a white dress to which dozens of living butterflies had been pinned.

Eyewitness Xiu Shih, 37, said: "The butterflies seem to be still alive, and many were beating the wings obviously trying to fly away from the dress but they couldn't because they had steel pins through their bodies pinning them to the fabric. It was really shocking and I saw some children crying and their parents taking them away. This was supposed to be a celebration of the beauty of the butterfly and of the natural beauty of the region. The whole thing just left me speechless."

The region is actually one of the Biosphere Reserves of China, and includes a National Nature Reserve and an educational centre which caters to youngsters who want to learn about the environment.

In the pre-publicity for the festival organisers had promised: "A living butterfly fairy making an appearance that is sure to delight young and old."

Spokesman Ning Wang: "We wanted the Festival to encourage people's love of insects and the natural world and to encourage them to protect our fellow creatures instead of catching and killing them so relentlessly."

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