A glimmer hope for animal lovers throughout the world is coming out, as Taiwan rangers claim they’ve spotted a leopard that was initially thought to be extinct.
Our world has already turned into a rough neighborhood in recent years. Scientists and conservationists have even revealed that we’re currently in the middle of the sixth mass extinction wave.
Many animal and plant species are going extinct at a 1,000-10,000 times natural extinction rate.
However, on rare occasions, we’re often reminded perhaps it’s not too late to make things right—possibly, the reports of an animal species’ extinction were premature. However, these species remain in grave danger.
A leopard species, thought to have been entirely extinct, has been spotted in southeast Taiwan for the first time in over 37 years, and this is possibly one of the best news we’ve heard so far.
The rare Formosan clouded leopard has been out of the reach of the human eye since 1983. It was officially declared extinct in 2013 and listed as extinct species.
A 13-year-long study by zoologists failed to find even a single leopard.
In the 13th century, this leopard species was brought in Tainan and other port cities to be traded. Historical data reveals that the only non-indigenous person to see this big cat was a Japanese anthropologist called Torii Ryūzō in 1900.
Luckily, this leopard has been spotted several times in the wild across the archipelagos’ southeast.
People have reportedly seen it prowling the countryside in Taitung country’s Daren Township.
Authorities spotted the animal while patrolling one of the sensitive areas in the region.
The leopard holds a sacred place among the locals, and it was seen climbing a tree, before scrambling up a cliff to hunt for goats.
Other groups of locals saw the Asian cat after it darted past a scooter before quickly climbing a tree and vanishing in the bushes.
Tribal leaders believe they could stop hunting by outsiders, and the elders of the village have urged the authorities to end logging and other activities that destroy the forest.
National Taitung University’s Department of Life Science, professor Liu Chiung-hsi says that he believed these animals still exist.
As reported by Taiwan News, Pan Chih-hua, head of the Alangyi’s tribal conference, confirmed that the villagers indeed saw the Formosan clouded leopard in the wild. However, they were reluctant to disclose the time and location of their sightings.
Liu said that this animal is vigilant and can’t be easily trapped or caught. It’s no surprise it hasn’t been seen by humans in nearly four decades.