One of the most endangered species on Earth, this incredibly adorable, reclusive mountain dweller was only found in 1983. Meet Ili Pika, also known as Ochotona iliensis, maybe the cutest animal on the globe.
The “magic rabbit,” which is indigenous to a few extremely isolated areas of China’s North West, was initially identified by environmentalist Li Weidong. In actuality, he was the one who finally succeed in photographing the elusive animal after twenty years.
Unfortunately, according to Mr. Li Weidong, the species number declined by almost 70% since the early 80’s, with less than 1,000 individuals left in the wild.
“I discovered the species, and I watched as it became endangered,” Li told CNN. “If it becomes extinct in front of me, I’ll feel so guilty.”
Therefore, when seeing no one is about to help these adorable little creatures, Li decided to take matters into his own hands.
In 2014, he organized a team of 20 volunteers in his attempt to track down the cute animal in order to establish its numbers and therefore, to help at the conservation of the species. Sadly, Li who spent most of his savings to fund the research, hit a totally lack of interest from the authorities.
He warned that “this little species may go extinct at any moment.” “They are no longer present at the locations where they formerly were.
I soon won’t be able to ascend the Tianshan Mountains since I’m getting close to 60. Therefore, I fervently hope that a company would hire individuals to research and safeguard the Ili Pika,” the environmentalist continued.
Mr. Li claimed that the little animals had formerly been spotted in the Tianshian highlands at altitudes of up to 13,450 feet.