Rare Amur leopard spotted in China


'Kathanga', a four-month-old Amur leopards explores its enclosure next to its mother on July 8, 2011 at the zoo in Mulhouse, northeastern France.

It seems the nearly disappeared Amur leopard may still exist in China.

This week, according to state-run media, Chinese researchers have come out with the first photos of the rare cat snapped since 1949. Wildlife experts on the tri-border area of China, Siberia and North Korea have been tracking the cats for years, but have had rarely a sighting. This week, a World Wildlife Fund-sponsored researcher with 40 cameras set up to run around-the-clock grabbed several stills of one of the world's most endangered cats.

There are believed to be fewer than 50 Amur leopards left left in the wild and the Yanbian, China, border area is one of there last remaining habitats. The cats remain extremely vulnerable to poaching and other human threats.