Photo of Ili pika by Li Weidong, from National Geographic
I’m a sucker for furry little animals. Kittens, koala bears, bunny rabbits — they’re all adorable to me. So imagine how much I would love the Ili pika. The sweet babies are 8 in. long, with large ears and brown-spotted grey fur. They are so cute, and look so huggable.
Not that I have ever seen an Ili pika in person. These mammals live in China, at elevations of about 10,000 ft., and eat mountain grass and plants for sustenance. Scientists discovered the Ili pika in 1983. But it took decades for them to capture a photo of the rare creature. Finally, after finding the teddy-bear-faced animal in China’s Tianshan Mountains last summer, scientists snapped the picture above.
I think he looks like an Ewok from the Star Wars movies!