Are you ready to fall in love and have your heart broken at the same time: this gorgeous rabbit that you’ve probably never heard of, the “Ili Pika”, is also one of the rarest and most endangered living being in the world. Their population in their native China is likely to have dropped to less than 1,000 and these photographs are of the first one that has been spotted in 20 years. The “Ili Pika” population is strongly believed to have declined by around 70 % since its first discovery in 1983, scientists say. The “Ili Pika” was first discovered in the Tianshian Mountains in northwestern China, but it is projected their population is rapidly decreasing. These adorable teddy-bear look-alikes, which’re a distant relative of rabbits, are so infrequent that scientists know very little about them. Li Weidong, the conservationist who discovered them, told CNN, “I discovered the species, and I watched as it became endangered. If it becomes extinct in front of me, I’ll be so sad and I must feel so guilty. He and his volunteers have dubbed it the “magic rabbit”, but they’re doubtful that rabbit populations may be declining due to global warming as the altitude of permanent snow in the Tianshan mountain range has risen.1 4

Li Weidong, the conservationist who discovered them

Li Weidong, the conservationist who discovered them

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