Ever heard of the Ili Pika? If you haven’t, that’s okay. A lot of people haven’t, and there is a good reason for that. When you talk about rare mammals, this is one creature that is going to be right at the top of the list. This so-called “magic rabbit” is so rare, so elusive, no one has seen a specimen in over twenty years.
However, that changed quite recently. This past March, an Ili Pika was spotted in its native country, which is China. Even better, some wonderful pictures have been taken. These are phenomenal, breathtaking creatures (not to mention adorable). They might be shy. They might be incredibly difficult to spot. There is no question that these creatures are incredibly cute, and they deserve to be shared with the world.
Get ready to fall in love with a whole new animal!
The Magic Rabbit Of China
As mentioned above, sightings of the China “magic rabbit” are few and far between. As you can imagine, when one of these animals was spotted in the Tian Shan Mountains of China, it was a pretty big deal.
Researchers spotted this eight-inch distant cousin to the rabbit in the region, and you can be sure someone had the presence of mind to snap some pictures. The animal was discovered in 1983 by a conservationist named Li Weidong. In spite of the Pokémon-style name, the creature was actually named after Weidong’s hometown.
Given the small stature of the creature, and considering where it seemingly likes to hang out (the mountains), finding it has been a task and a half for researchers. These two factors can certainly serve to explain why no one has been able to find the creature for two full decades. However, things changed during a recent excursion into the area. It is believed that at the time the creature was discovered, there were nearly three thousand throughout the country. However, it is believed that this population has dwindled to a significant degree, which would also serve to explain why it has been so difficult to track one down. It is strongly suspected that the combination of humanity and climate change are the elements that have pushed this animal to the brink of extinction.
At the moment, the mountains in which the creature lives are protected by government measures. However, there is some hope that this region will soon be declared a protected nature reserve, which would ensure the Ili Pika remains safe.