His actual name is Wan Zhikang, and he is working with WCS China since 2011. He graduated from Northeast Forestry University in Wildlife Resources Management and Utilization. His family lives in Beijing, where his wife runs a café fully decorated with pictures of Changtang taken by Master Kang, or Kangkang for friends. After visiting the Tibetan grasslands the first time, he just cannot keep feeling in love with Changtang, even if this keeps him away from his family several months a year. Kangkang is an essential resource for our team. Here are some roles he usually plays as in the team:
Ranger of Changtang
Kangkang finger is always glued to the shutter of his DSLR camera. When we went to our project site at Garco Township and organized a ceremony for donating equipment to local volunteer rangers he astutely climbed on a truck to get the best perspective.
Kangkang instructing a ranger to use GPS. ©WCS/纪冀蜀
Kangkang is a mild guy, but he always carries a long sharp knife with himself. He says that it is terribly convenient for cutting meat and fruits, as well as protecting the team in the remote areas. Interestingly, this knife is also a tool for making friends among the herders. The first time the village head of Garco Township met Kangkang and saw his beautiful knife, he was so fond of it that they started straight away a long and amicable conversation. Eventually Kangkang – who is also a very generous person – sent his dear knife to his friend as a gift.
In another occasion we contacted the village head for an interview. He immediately asked us about Kangkang, and when he saw him entering the room he held his hands and repeatedly called him “my dear buddy”. As a token of appreciation the village head invited us to his home to enjoy fresh mutton meat, and offered Kangkang a bloody skull from a freshly butchered sheep.
Kangkang is often the only male in our field trips, and he is always up to the situation. He takes care of arranging the accommodation for all his female colleagues, and proactively carries all the heavy bags. At every meal, with his big knife he peels apples and pears for all the team. Kangkang has soon become like a family member for us.
Cheer up companion
Tibet is beautiful in small doses. When you have to spend months in the field, shaking like crazy on the unpaved roads and surrounded by nothing but grass, mountains and scared animals, sometimes you may feel a dire need for bustling cities. One day the whole team was sitting on the car, silent and depressed. Kangkang decided to adjust the atmosphere, and started to talk to himself with foolish yet amusing words. Magically, the atmosphere changed and the mood of the whole team cheered up.
Words are not enough to effectively portray the value Kangkang is for our team and for the beautiful nature we strive to protect.
Written by: Ji Jishu (纪冀蜀) and Bian Xiaoxing(卞晓星)