China’s Rare and Adorable ‘Magic Rabbit’ aka Ili Pika Is On The Brink Of Extinction

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Photo credit : © Li Weidong

The little fellow we are going to let you cuddle today is an absolutely adorable teddy bear looking creature!

As per a hint: he is also known as the Magic Rabbit! And until the scientists confirm this with proper forms of genetic evidence, I can whisper you a secret on them!

This little creature is a cross between a fluffy bunny and a comfy teddy!

Believe me, he looks that much astonishing!!

If you can remember, Magic Rabbit is a mammalian rabbit-like creature who went viral on social media platforms few years back. Although most people call this fluffy creature, “Magic Rabbit”, he is actually known as Ili Pika. However, in the eyes of the scientists, he is recognized as Ochotona iliensis. And as the verbatim “Ili Pika” hints, this is a buddy who lives dominating China. Moreover, due to some amazing reasons, this creature has been able to draw the attention of the whole world tremendously!

And this article includes the Magical facts on this Magical creature that would make you amazed magically!!

Who is Ili Pika?

Ili Pika is an animal who had not been disclosed to the human eyes with authentic documentations until 1983. And even after that sort of a long hide and seek game round, this mysterious ball of fur again came back to the stage only in 2014. So on one hand we can say, today we are talking about a hide and seek champion. And on the other hand, even this creature was first witnessed in 1983 by Mr. Li Weidong accidentally. At the moment he noticed this fellow first, he was not prepared as he was not on his way expecting a new specie to discover. Therefore, only after three years of restless efforts and researches, in 1986, he was lucky enough to recognize the area where these fellows are dominated. It was Ili Prefecture, located in West side of Xinjiang province, China. Therefore, based on the district “Ili”, this little teddy was named as Ili Pika by then!

How Ili Pika looks?

If you are lucky, one day, in the high mountains of China, you will notice a little grey head, peeping out of a crack, looking at you, most probably thinking “Well, it’s time for HIDE and SEEK”!! And if this little player you come across is an Ili Pika, be sure to keep the following features in your mind, just not to miss the chance! This tiny creature grows 8 inches tall from its button nose to fluffy tail. He usually weighs 200g and has bright grey fur coat.  However, this Pika creature is different from rest of the Pikas, due to its dark stripes available on its forehead and around his neck. Apart from that, these fellows have also inherited the usual short limbs and rounded ears like every other rabbit. Being deviated from the other rabbits, Ili Pika do not hibernate in the winter season and it can resist even extremely cold weathers.

Where do Ili Pika live?

Photo credit : © Li Weidong

Though Ili Pika was originally founded in Ili Prefecture, Pika is believed to be extirpated from Jilimalale and Hutubi South Mountains. As they are mountain dwelling adventurers, they live in fractured rock holes, peaks and cliffs at an altitude of 2800m to 4000m. Ili Pikas demand an extremely cold atmosphere and they cannot resist the warmth. And this may be the reason behind them being lurked from us for ages. And they are bonded to their territories so much. Whenever an Ili Pika feels threatened around, he communicates it to the fellow Pikas with a whistle and tend to disappear in their nearby rocks as a safety measure!

Life style of Ili Pika

Ili Pika is an innocent creature who depends on grasses, herbs and other mountain plants. As mentioned prior, they do not hibernate in the winter due to its ability to tolerate the cold. Instead, they spend most of their time during summer for storing foods as much as possible, by collecting plants in large hay piles and hiding them in mountain cracks for later use during the season of winter. And they usually eat eight to ten times a day in order to revive the strength!

When it comes to their mating habits, they are ready for mating once they are one year old and as it is reported, they live usually around 7 years. Therefore, they usually have a limited period of six years for breeding and as their density is questionable, it is critical that they breed only once or rarely twice a year. Further, female Pikas carry only 2 to 3 babies. Baby Pikas are called leverets and unfortunately, only one out of three leverets survives at the end of the game!

Ili Pikas are endangered?

Photo credit : © Li Weidong

Since Ili Pika was first found in 1983, it has estimated that the population of Ili Pika has dropped by 70%. One of the major reasons behind Ili Pika being important to China has been that, they are now rarer than pandas. And by 2020, according to the statistics, there are only fewer than 1,000 Ili Pikas left in the world. And today, Ili Pika is one of the most endangered species in the world.

Under their food chain, they are a prey for many predators such as weasels, foxes and birds. And meanwhile being victimized for a number of natural predators, now Ili Pikas are facing many other challenges such as habitat loss, loss of food sources and climatic changes as well.

Mostly, due to the continuous and endless developments carried out based on mountain areas, the habitats of the Ili Pikas are being fragmented.  Further, when the herdsmen take their livestock higher the mountains, due to various reasons such as expanding their cultivations and looking for more food for the livestock, it causes Ili Pikas to have less food available consequently.

And these creatures who cannot resist the warm environments face a huge problem along with the climatic changes. According to Mr. Li, in the past 30 years, the habitats of the Ili Pikas have been downsized by 71%.

Although they were listed under the endangered category, it is pathetic that no reasonable actions have been taken yet by the relevant authorities, in terms of raising a voice for these innocent creatures!

Thus, it seems in the real world,

‘Magic’ has not worked well on these ‘Magic Rabbits’ purposively!

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