Outcry grows in Taiwan as second rare leopard cat is hit by car in 2 weeks

An endangered leopard cat was killed by a car on a road Friday, raising the death toll to two in only two weeks, and saddening local conservationists

Leopard cat walking on the log (Image courtesy of Flickr)

Leopard cat walking on the log (Image courtesy of Flickr)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - In a short period of time, a second endangered leopard cat has been run over and killed on a road in central Taiwan. This time the incident happened in Changhua County. Similar cases were reported in Miaoli and Nantou County in April and May, respectively.

The leopard cat conservation group Leopard Cat Taiwan posted on its Facebook page Friday with a heart-wrenching photo of the dead endangered animal, whose population in Taiwan was estimated to fewer than 500, or even worse, to around 300, according to a local media report. The leopard cat was listed in 2009 as an endangered species in the Taiwanese Wildlife Conservation Act by the Council of Agriculture.

The post received dozens of comments crying out for immediate action to protect leopard cats and condemning the careless drivers.

On September 7, the Chair of Miaoli County’s MiaoLi Nature Association Lin Chin-kun (林錦坤) found a dead leopard cat at the junction of Provincial Highway 6 in Houlong Township of Miaoli County. Lin said the animal’s head was apparently run over by a vehicle, its eyeballs popping out.

A week later, a citizen found another run-over leopard cat in Changhua County; the body was reportedly at Provincial Highway 14, where the endangered species has never been sighted and recorded for 20 years. The sad news also indicates that a group of leopard cats could exist deep in the Bagua or Eight Trigram Mountains of Changhua County.

The region's agriculture department noted that the species had been active in Changhua County between 1960 and 1970, but had remained out of sight from road cameras and people.

Lin Yu-shu (林育秀), an expert on endangered species and habitat destruction, was quoted as saying by the Liberty Times that the dead leopard cat found in Changhua was very young, weighing around 3 kilograms. Lin reminded drivers to watch out while driving in mountainous areas in Nantou, Miaoli and Changhua to prevent another leopard cat tragedy.

Related article: Rare leopard cat killed on a road in Miaoli