Hidden amongst all the doom and gloom that is the state of the world at the moment is the occasional nugget of good news. Today’s comes in the form of a long-thought-extinct leopard being spotted by multiple witnesses alive and well in Taiwan.
The Formosan clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa brachyura) is a subspecies of clouded leopard endemic to the island of Taiwan. With no confirmed sightings of it in the wild since 1983, it was declared extinct in 2013.
However, according to Taiwan News, Taiwanese scholars are reluctant to remove it from the endangered species list thanks to rare but occasional sightings, like the recent ones by a group of villagers who say they spotted the elusive animal on two separate occasions in 2018.
Rangers reported seeing more than one cat hunting goats on a cliff in Taitung County’s Daren Township, while another group reported seeing one near their scooters before it ran off up a tree.
The President of the Association of the Austronesian Community College Development Association and village chief of the Paiwan Tribe, Kao Cheng-chi confirmed rangers set up a patrol around the Alangyi Village last June after sightings were reported, according to Yahoo News.
The leopard has become a symbol of Taiwan’s conservation indicators and is a sacred spirit to the Paiwan tribe. The chief said a village meeting had been held to discuss the sightings and how to stop outsiders from attempting to hunt them.