This adorable creature is called the Ili Pika (Ochotona iliensis) and it hasn’t been spotted for more than 20 years. Nicknamed the “magic rabbit”, the little mammal with a teddy bear face is native to the Tianshan mountains in China.
First discovered by conservationist Li Weidong in 1983, the Ili Pika’s population has since been in drastic decline (more than 70%), due to loss of habitat, pollution and global warming. There are currently only 1,000 of them remaining! Yikes!
And because Ili Pikas are so elusive and rare, very little is know about their behavior. Li hopes conservation areas will be established to protect this magical creature, telling CNN “I discovered the species, and I watched as it became endangered. If it becomes extinct in front of me, I’ll feel so guilty.”
We hope the rediscovery of this cuddly critter and the power of the internet will help increase its population and bring the species back from the brink of extinction.