‘Extinct’ Leopard Spotted Alive For the First Time in Over 30 Years


A leopard species, believed to have been completely extinct, has been spotted in southeast Taiwan for the first time in over 30 years, prompting a push to protect the big cat from hunters and habitat damage. The Formosan clouded leopard was officially declared extinct in 2013, after it had not been spotted since 1983 and a 13-year-long study by zoologists failed to find even one leopard.

🔥 This is a Formosan clouded leopard from Taiwan, it was thought to be extinct until it was spotted this week. The last time it was seen was 1983

However, locals in the southeast Taiwan town of Daren, Taitung, reported seeing the rare cat again in recent months, inspiring a group of rangers to monitor the area. The rangers have now reported two sightings of a group of Formosan clouded leopards hunting goats, and one running up a tree. Now, researchers are coordinating with locals to keep hunters at bay, according to the village chief Kao Cheng-chi.


Exclusive to Taiwan, the dusky-grey Formosan clouded leopard has been designated ‘vulnerable’ since 2008, as extensive logging ate away at the animal’s natural habitat and forced them into the mountains. It’s been a great start to the year for animals presumed extinct. Just last month a species of giant tortoise thought to have disappeared since 1906 was discovered on the Galapagos island of Fernandina.

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