When anyone is found possessing an animal included on Japan’s endangered species list, it goes without saying that a warrant of arrest will be issued to that person. However, such was not the case when a man from the island of Tsushima was found to have kept a wild Japanese leopard for 15 years. Instead, the Ministry of Environment is seeking advice from the man on how he kept the endangered cat healthy and alive for more than a decade.
The unnamed Tsushima resident first encountered the leopard, named after the southwest island where they reside, about 15 years ago. He found the little feline creature injured on a roadside and took it to an animal clinic before deciding to keep it. But on October 18 of this year, the man called the local animal welfare center saying, “The wild Tsushima cat I have been caring for is ill and needs treatment.” A veterinarian from the center came to take a look at the cat, only to find that it needed to be brought to the center for better treatment.
Sadly, the endangered animal died after several hours, believed to be the result of age-related diseases. The Ministry of the Environment was then contacted, leading to the man being questioned. Officials from the ministry have decided instead to seek advice from him. No charges were even filed, as there was no evidence proving that the Tsushima cat suffered under his care. The ministry believes they could learn from the man on how he was able to take care of the endangered animal for so many years.
[via Rocket News 24]