Cycling trip ties English hotel manager with endangered finless porpoises
2017-08-31 16:36:00

Mr. Hewitt poses for a picture at Fairmont  Nanjing.

Graham Hewitt, general manager of the five-star hotel Fairmont Nanjing, could never have imaged that some day he would be an ambassador for Yangtze River finless porpoise.

Having been in Nanjing for 6 years, Mr. Hewitt developed a habit of cycling down along the Yangtze River, where he saw the large black animals for the first time. “At first I thought it was seals. I was very suprised, because it was five or six feet long. When I came back, I searched on the internet and discovered it was finless porpoise. I learned that they are very rare, less than 1000 left in the world,” smiled Mr. Hewitt.

An inside look of Fairmont Nanjing.

Since then, he has been very concerned about the endangered animals. He reached to Wuhan Baiji Conservation Foundation (WBCF), which is a society to protect Yangtze River finless porpoise. Together, they try to raise people’s awareness of protecting these animals. In addition to efforts of regular activities for finless porpoise, he even tailored a cute stuffed finless porpoise toy for little guests in their hotel. There is a small tag on the toy, explaining what they are doing and why they are doing this. “We think if the children understand, maybe their parents will pay much more attention. We just need to let people know that there aren’t many left and people need to look after them.” Mr. Hewitt wishes to do more for the cause in the future.

Mr. Hewitt participated in the cycling activity for charity.

A warm heart is always ready to help. Mr. Hewitt also cares much about poor children suffering from eye problems in rural China. He once had a 350km bike ride from Zhuhai to Guangzhou of south China's Guangdong province to raise money for young people to get access to afordable quality eye care services and eye surgeries.

Mr. Hewitt now pretty enjoys the life in Nanjing, though he is still challenged by Chinese language and culture. The hotel ranks high among its competitors, and he will continue paying back the society.

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