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A Russian Designer helps to Save Endangered Taiwan Leopard Cats with Good Design (Source: Agenda 21st century Taiwan)

Industry: Politics & Political Organizations

A Russian designer drew three illustrations of leopard cat that is an endangered species in Taiwan. Taiwan Tourism Bureau decided to put her well-loved drawings to the tourism train and invited her to come to Taiwan for the opening of the event.

Los Angeles (PRUnderground) September 5th, 2019

In the summer of 2019, Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau engaged a design studio to decorate a train in JiJi, a small township of rich ecological treasure in Mid-Taiwan, to raise the awareness of the endangered leopard cats. When the decoration was revealed, the public found that the drawings were leopards, although adorable, not leopard cats. It turned out that the design studio had bought the image of a leopard from an online image library, so they were criticized being ignorant and irresponsible with their missions.

A local animal care group Jumps! Strays traced the original creator of the leopard, Катя Молодцова(Katya Molodtsova) from Russia, who, after understanding the intention of the restoring the population of leopard cats in Taiwan, drew several paintings of leopard cats for Taiwan’s animal protection groups to use for free.

Катя’s generosity was immediately praised by Taiwanese people, tens of thousands of “like” and thanking comments poured in to her FaceBook page, and the Tourism Bureau decided to put her well-loved drawings to the train, together with the modified design of the commissioned design team.

Good design is the best method to raise awareness of endangered animals because it reminds the public how beautiful these animals are and the design will be passed on and on. As the images become viral on social media, the goal achieved.

In 2015, British designer Bryan James organized an online exhibition of his design of 30 endangered animals, including African penguin and Javan slow loris, among other rarely known animals. In 2017, French designer Martigny Matthieu, Macedonia designer Petar Shalamanov, and Romania designers Bodea Daniel and Cajvanean Alexandru got together to create a series of icons for endangered animals such as brown bear, hawksbill(green turtle) and bighorn sheep, etc. Their efforts not only brought the public knowledge about these animals and the crises they face, but also reflection upon the wrongdoings of human being.

Taiwan Minister of Transportation and Communication Lin Chia-Lung left a message on Катя’s Instagram, inviting her to come to Taiwan for the opening of the event.

Leopard cats are small wild cats native in the South, Southeast and East Asia. In Taiwan, the population of leopard cats dropped drastically due to over development. It is estimated there are only around 300 to 500 leopard surviving in Taiwan now.

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