Endangered leopard filmed in NE China

Updated: 2011-04-18 20:31
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CHANGCHUN - A leopard of a critically endangered species was filmed for the first time in Northeast China's Jilin province, local authorities said Monday.

Cameras on the Sino-Russia border captured a roaming Far Eastern leopard in Hunchun city on April 13, said Yu Changchun, head of the environment protection bureau under Jilin's forestry department.

Soldier Li Mingquan saw the leopard through the surveillance cameras at 3:31 pm.

Animal carcasses, which could have been left by the leopard, were found near the spot one day later, Yu said.

The Far Eastern leopard, also known as Amur leopard or Manchurian leopard, faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Experts say there are less than 50 Far Eastern leopards in the wild. The feline predators are native to the forests in northeast China, Russia's Far East and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

About two to four Far Eastern leopards live in the forest of about 100,000 hectares in Hunchun. The number may change as some leopards sometimes cross the Sino-Russia border, said Lang Jianmin, head of the Promotion and Education Center for Hunchun Manchurian Tiger National Nature Reserve.