PHOTOS: Rare Ili pika, cute mountain-dweller, faces extinction

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Ili pika, a rare mammal discovered in China, has a face like a teddy bear and ears like a bunny. The adorable animal is also endangered.

Fewer than 1,000 Ili pikas may be left in the world, making the animal rarer than a panda.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature said increasing grazing pressure and climate change are main threats to Ili pikas.

National Geographic reports scientist Weidong Li spotted an Ili pika in the Tianshan Mountains more than 20 years after he accidentally discovered the species in the 1983.