|A farmer shows the dried out soil in a field in Huagou Village near Kunming, capital of southwest China's Yunnan Province, April 9, 2010. (Xinhua Photo)
NANNING, April 10 (Xinhua) -- The prolonged drought in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southwest China has left many rare species of wild animals and floras in dire need of water.
A white-headed langur, an endangered species of long-tailed monkey on China's top-level protection list, has been reportedly seen drinking water from a pond in a village in Chongzuo City.
The langur escaped into the woods after people gathered to watch.
The monkey, whose tracks could only be found deep in a nature reserve previously, had emerged into the urban area to seek water, said Chen Qiuhua, director of the forestry administration of Guangxi.
Many rare wild animals, including the black-necked, long-tailed pheasant, boas and other monkey species, have been suffering from water and food shortages due to the drought, which started to spread last summer, she said.
Rare species of orchids and cycads were also badly affected as leaves began to wither.
Guangxi also saw large areas of artificial forests withering, some of them planted up to 100 years ago, said Tan Zhenmu, an official in De'e township, Longlin County.
In Longlin alone, more than 33,000 hectare of forests, had withered by Thursday, which would cost an estimated 60 million yuan (8.8 million U.S. dollars) to replant, said Tan.
Chen said the administration had mobilized workers and used horses to transport water to forests and nature reserves. It also hired farmers to carry water up to the mountains where the monkeys lived.
"We are trying to help the ecological system to survive," said Chen.