This extremely cute animal is called the Ili Pika, native to the Xinjiang region of China.  This is the first time the Ili Pika has been photographed in more than 20 years.  Unfortunately, the Ili Pika’s population has decreased by more than 70% in the last few decades.  Pollution, the decline of grazing land, climate change and other factors have contributed to its decline.

These cute animals are acclimatized to high altitude and rocky terrain.  Their diet consists mainly of grasses found at high elevations.
Ili Pikas are elusive but researches speculate this is due mainly to its population decline.
This cute furball measures about 8 inches (about 20 centimiters) long.

Li Weidong is a researches who has dedicated his life to studying and surveying this cute animal.  After several expeditions, he finally spotted one who actually happen to be very friendly.  The Ili Pika even stepped on his feet as he photographed it.  Thanks to his persistence to searching and surveying this animal we are able to glance at the awesomeness of this animal.  We hope is not the last time.

All photographs: Li Weidong