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Shennongjia is located on the western border of the Hubei province, bordering Baokang County to the east and Wushan County to the west. Shennongjia gets its name from the Chinese ancestor, the Yan Emperor Shennong, who set up the ladder with woods here to gather herbs.

The reserve remains mysterious customs and old legends, of which the most distinguished one is the mystery of the wild man, one of the world’s four mysteries. The greatest number of “wild men” have been discovered in this region, where up to now the signs of activities of 138 “wild men” have been witnessed by more than 360 people.

In addition, the natural beauty of Shennongjia also has the fascinating charm. The reserve includes 2,618 square kilometers of forest, and has the abundant type of plants due to a variety of natural conditions at different elevations. The immense forest, the primitive ecological system, the rich biodiversity and the pleasant climate collectively constitute the gorgeous landscape and entitle the Shennongjia as the “Green Pearl”, “Natural Wildlife Garden”, "Species Gene Reserve", "Natural Museum" and so on.

The mountains in the reserve are lofty, gradually decreasing from the southwest to the northeast. Shennongding, the highest mountain in the reserve, with an elevation of 3105.4 meters above the sea level, is the highest peak in Central China. The majority of mountains rise to an elevation of 1500 meters above the sea level, among which the mountains over an elevation of 3000 meters reach 6, and the mountains over an elevation of 2500 meters come to 20, and thus making Shennongjia as the “Ridge of the Central China”.

It has been approved by the State Council as the National Forest and Wildlife Reserve in 1986, and by UNESCO as the "Asian biodiversity protection demonstration" in 1990. On July 17, 2016, it was listed as a World Heritage Site, the 50th World Heritage Site in China.