Young leopard cat found dead in northwest Taiwan

Hunger, cold thought to be responsible

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2020 began in Miaoli with the find of a dead leopard cat (photo courtesy of Miaoli County Government). 

2020 began in Miaoli with the find of a dead leopard cat (photo courtesy of Miaoli County Government).  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In Miaoli County, the new year began with the find of a dead leopard cat near a school, possibly a victim of hunger and cold weather.

Last year, the region recorded at least 22 leopard cat deaths, often after they were hit by cars while crossing roads.

Ironically, the first such death of 2020 was reported by a local politician, Lai Mao-hsien (韓茂賢), who was quoted last year as saying that the number of animal deaths was the result of too many leopard cats in the region.

The latest dead leopard cat was found Wednesday morning (Jan. 1) near the athletic track of a primary school in Sanyi Township, CNA reported.

A veterinarian said that the animal was male, about four months old, and weighed 1.3 kilograms. No external injuries were found and no bones were broken, but a medical investigation showed the feline’s stomach to be empty, leading to speculation that since it was alone without its mother, the animal had not eaten for quite some time.

Low blood sugar levels combined with the recent cold weather might have caused its death, according to the CNA report.