Tsushima is a beautiful Japanese island. It is 709 square kilometers, or 440.5 square miles, big and only 30 miles from South Korea. Most of the island is covered in mountain forests, and tourists visit the island to enjoy its natural beauty. One of the most popular attractions is the Tsushima Wildlife Conservation Center, which is located in Saozaki Park. The conservation center offers visitors a chance to see the endangered Tsushima Leopard Cat, which can only be found on this island. These cats are so unique that they were declared national treasures by Japan in 1971.
• The Tsushima Leopard cat isn’t very large. It is about the size of a domestic cat.
• They weigh 6.6 to 11 pounds.
•They are longer and shorter than typical cats.
• There are 80-100 cats on the island.
• They are mostly brown and grey, but they have distinct dark stripes on the middle of their foreheads and white spots on their backs.
• Other species of leopard cats can be found across Asia.
• Leopard cats were the first to be domesticated.
• The Chinese domesticated them 5,000 years ago.
• These cats are mostly nocturnal hunters and are difficult to spot in the wild.
• They hunt small rodents, insects and birds.
• They are an endangered species, and their biggest threat is cars and dogs.
• There are two wild felines in Japan. The other is called the Iriomote cat.
• The Japanese name for the cat is Tsushima yamaneko.
• The Japanese name means Mountain Cat of Tsushima.
• They have white spots on the backs of their rounded ears.
• Their tails are much thicker than those of domesticated cats.
• Japan has been working hard for years to save these special cats from extinction.