This extraordinarily adorable, secretive mountain-dwelling critter was first identified in 1983 and is now one of the most endangered creatures on the planet. Meet Ili Pika, also known as Ochotona iliensis, the world’s cutest animal.
The “magic rabbit,” which is native to some of China’s most isolated locations, was initially identified by conservationist Li Weidong. In fact, it was he who, two decades later, was able to capture the elusive monster on film.
According to Mr. Li Weidong, the species’ population has decreased by over 70% since the early 1980s, with less than 1,000 individuals remaining in the wild.
Li told CNN, “I found the species and observed as it got endangered.” “I’ll feel terrible if it becomes extinct right in front of my eyes.”
As a result, Li decided to take matters into his own hands when he saw no one was willing to rescue these precious young animals. In 2014, he assembled a group of 20 volunteers to track down the adorable animal in order to establish its population and therefore contribute to the species’ protection. Regrettably, Li, who had spent the majority of his resources on the research, was met with a complete lack of interest by the authorities.
He stated, “This little species might go extinct at any time.” “They are no longer found in the places where they used to be.”
“I’m over 60 years old, and I won’t be able to climb the Tianshan Mountains any more.” So I’m hoping that someone or some group would research and conserve the Ili Pika,” the environmentalist continued.
The cute critters were formerly discovered up to 13,450 feet in the Tianshian highlands, according to Mr. Li.