Tags: Teddy Bear | Ili Pika | china | rare

Rare Teddy Bear-Faced Ili Pika Spotted After Two Decades

By    |   Wednesday, 25 March 2015 02:32 PM

A small, furry and rare mammal called the ili pika has been spotted in the mountains of northwest China — the first sighting in more than two decades, ABC News reports.

With a lovable face and sharp, pointed ears, looking like a combination of a fluffy rodent and a teddy bear, the species Ochotona iliensis was seen in the Tianshan Mountains by scientist Weidong Li, according to National Geographic, which described it as "unbelievably cute."

Li, a scientist at the Xinjiang Institute for Ecology and Geography, had first discovered the species in the 1980s. He had trouble finding it again after several tries until he set off last summer on a volunteer expedition, where it was spotted in a rocky outcrop, National Geographic noted.

Said Tatsuya Shin, a naturalist who works with the pika team: "They found it hiding behind a rock, and they realized they had found the pika. They were very excited."

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has put the carnivorous mammal on its endangered "red list" since 2008.

Citing IUCN reports, ABC News said that "increases in grazing pressure and global atmospheric pollution resulting in climate change are believed to be the primary threats to these animals."

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A small, furry and rare mammal called the ili pika has been spotted in the mountains of northwest China - the first sighting in more than two decades, ABC News reports.
Teddy Bear, Ili Pika, china, rare
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2015-32-25
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 02:32 PM
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