Two photographs have been taken in China of the critically-endangered Amur leopard. Xinhua reported that the pictures were snapped in a forest in the northeastern Chinese province of Jilin, close to the border with North Korea. If genuine, the photos would mark the first time the Amur leopard has captured on film in the wild since 1949.
The photographs were taken by an automatic camera set up by a party from Peking University. The project to capture rare wildlife on film was jointly sponsored by Jilin’s provincial forest authorities and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
The sighting certainly seems to be more credible than China’s last well-publicised big cat photos. In 2010 a Chinese farmer was jailed after allegedly faking a photograph of a South China tiger, which is believed to be extinct.
The Amur leopard itself is perilously close to extinction, with only 50 believed to be in existence worldwide, including just 10 in China.