Iriomote yamaneko hit by car, escapes into jungle
The Iriomote Island Preservation Office of the Ministry of Environment announced that apparently a young Iriomote yamaneko (Iriomote wild cat) cub, a designated Natural Monument and an endangered species in Japan, was found on a road injured, obviously hit by a car, Jun 6.
The Office counts already three accidents involving the endangered cat species this year. There were only two known accidents last year, and now the count is one time higher than the whole last year, even if it’s only June.
The office issued a plea to drivers on Iriomote to be careful. Iriomote yamaneko is a rare species that lives only on the Iriomote Island, and it is estimated that only about 100 of them are left in the wild.
According to the office staff, a vet found the cub on a road lying down. When the vet tried to reach the cat, it run away into the bush. The cat vomited blood as it ran away, and there were blood marks on the road, too. This is the season that Iriomote yamaneko grow their cubs, and female cats or young cubs come on the roads easily. Officials also say there are more reports of them than last year.