HARBIN, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- A crane-watching festival will kick off Saturday in Zhalong National Nature Reserve in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.
Covering an area of 2,100 square km, the Zhalong National Nature Reserve is one of the world's largest breeding and protection bases for the endangered red-crowned crane, which has a wild population of about 2,000 worldwide and is under top national protection in China.
More than 400 red-crowned cranes are captive-bred and stay at the reserve instead of migrating south during the winter.
During the two-month festival, a 1.8-km-long runway for horse-pulled sleighs will be installed on top of the frozen reed marshes. Tourists can watch cranes roaming amongst the tall reeds and can also take pictures together with the cranes. Meanwhile, free hot water and fish soup will be offered at the reserve's visitor centers.