THE ENCYCLOPEDIA GALACTICA
Until recently, the general public was not aware that there was a wilderness area on Earth, received wisdom being that most of the Earth's surface was concreted over long before the reign of Ming. However, following an expose in the Fed2 Star that led to the resignation of several government ministers, its existence - if not its location - became common knowledge.
The late and not-so-very-lamented Ming commissioned Slarti, a terraformer, to create a wilderness preserve where the Emperor could pretend he was a great hunter in a virgin stretch of forest. Unable to refuse the royal command, Slarti, who now runs a successful planet-modifying business, selected an area in the Northern hemisphere with a mild, temperate climate for the wilderness. Buildings were knocked down and concrete ripped up to lay bare the original soil of the planet, and suitable plants and animals were selected to match the European style of the proposed wilderness.
One of Ming's requirements was that he wanted to be able to hunt the animals without actually being in any danger himself - but at the same time allow the animals to eat anyone who displeased him. Slarti reluctantly complied with this request, and the wilderness area was completed to Ming's satisfaction.
Following the fall of Ming, the wilderness continued to be used for secret hunting parties by top officials at the Galactic Administration. A journalist's investigation which revealed that the parties were being funded by the public purse led to the resignation of Justice Minister Jerrard Hopgent, amongst others.
Now, in a bid to legitimize the allocation of public funds towards the maintenance of the wilderness area, the Galactic Administration has opened it to visitors. The franchise for running trips to the wilderness has been granted to Wilderness Wonder-tours, who operate from a private landing field not far from Earth's hospital. Anybody can explore the wilderness now, but tourists should be aware that it is still a dangerous area and visitors should exercise caution.