People Spotted An 'Extinct' Taiwanese Leopard Whose Species Had Disappeared Since 1983

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Our world has recently become an extremely rough place, with scientists and conservationists claiming that the Earth is currently undergoing the 6th mass extinction of plants and animals.

People Spotted An 'Extinct' Taiwanese Leopard Whose Species Had Disappeared Since 1983

Our world has recently become an extremely rough place, with scientists and conservationists claiming that the Earth is currently undergoing the 6th mass extinction of plants and animals. Species are going extinct at up to 1,000 to 10,000 times the natural rate.


Nevertheless, on rare occasions, we’re reminded that maybe it’s not too late for everyone—maybe the reports of an animal species’ demise were premature, even if the particular species is still in grave danger.


Such is the case in Taiwan, where a rare species of a large cat, the Formosan clouded leopard, has recently been spotted in the wilderness by some people in the southeast of the island, as reported by Taiwan News.


The Formosan clouded leopard had not been officially sighted since 1983 and was declared extinct in 2013.


People Spotted An 'Extinct' Taiwanese Leopard Whose Species Had Disappeared Since 1983

The leopard had been spotted prowling in the countryside near Taitung County’s Daren Township, where the area’s Paiwan tribal authorities had formed indigenous ranger groups to patrol the region and guard sensitive areas.


As Taiwan News reported, the rangers saw the leopard–also named Li’uljaw, with a sacred status for locals–suddenly climb a tree before scrambling up a cliff to hunt for goats. Another group spotted the Asian cat dart past a scooter before quickly climbing a tree and disappearing.


The importance of the find is striking for locals, that held tribal meetings in Alangyi Village to determine how best to move forward.


Tribal members of the village hope to halt hunting in the area by outsiders, while village elders are lobbying Taiwanese authorities to end logging and other activities that harm the land.


The Formosan is known as a quite agile and vigilant animal, eluding human attempts to trap or otherwise capture it.


People Spotted An 'Extinct' Taiwanese Leopard Whose Species Had Disappeared Since 1983

From 2001 to 2013, a team of Taiwanese and U.S. zoologists surveyed the region, but they failed to sight the animal once, prompting the declaration that the Formosan clouded leopard had officially gone extinct.


Historical records of the rare cat date back to approximately the 13th century, when indigenous people brought the leopard’s pelts to trade at the busy markets of port cities like Tainan. It's believed that Japanese anthropologist Torii Ryūzō, in 1900, was the only non-indigenous person to have actually seen a live Formosan clouded leopard.

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Thinking Humanity: People Spotted An 'Extinct' Taiwanese Leopard Whose Species Had Disappeared Since 1983
People Spotted An 'Extinct' Taiwanese Leopard Whose Species Had Disappeared Since 1983
Our world has recently become an extremely rough place, with scientists and conservationists claiming that the Earth is currently undergoing the 6th mass extinction of plants and animals.
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