Endangered Magic Rabbit Spotted For The First Time In 20 Years

Youve probably never heard of the Ili Pika, and there is a reason for that. This tiny, teddy bear-like creature is as elusive as it is cute, and is rapidly becoming endangered.

In fact, this is its first sighting in over 20 years.

Li Weidong

The Ili Pika is only about 8 inches (20 centimeters) long, and can be found in the Tianshan mountain range in northwestern Chinas Xianjiang region.

It was officially discovered in 1983 by conservationist Li Weidong, who named it after his hometown, Ili.

Li Weidong

I discovered the species, and I watched as it became endangered, he told CNN.

Li Weidong

If it becomes extinct in front of me, Ill feel so guilty.

Li reckons there are only about 1,000 pikas left.

Despite being listed as endangered in 2008, there is currently no official organization studying or protecting it.

Li Weidong

Im almost 60, and soon I wont be able to climb the Tianshan Mountains, he said.

So I really hope that an organization will have people study and protect the Ili Pika.