They look like an antelope, but they’re more closely related to cows. Well, I say look, but these critically endangered animals are incredibly rare. Scientists have only documented wild Saola 4 times and none are in captivity. This means we don’t know much about them including their population. Could be a few hundred or a few dozen, but we really have no idea.
They’re found in the Vietnam/Laos region and were discovered in 1992. They’re actually the first large mammal to be found in 50 years. Although, they didn’t find a live one. It was a strange skull in a hunter’s home. This skull had two parallel horns that grew about 20 inches and ended in points. It has been discovered that males and females both have these. They have glands around their muzzle for marking territory too.
That’s really it for the interesting stuff. Most information was gathered from the few Saola that were captured, but they died anywhere from weeks to months. I couldn’t find any information on why or how they were captured. All other information is from photographs with the most recent one being from 2013 when a Saola went by a motion sensor camera. Makes this animal a major mystery.
Not a mystery enough for hunting and illegal fur trade to happen. Those are the biggest threats to the Saola. Keep in mind that they live in a small region of Vietnam and Laos, so they can’t be a big population to begin with. Specifically, they are only found in the Annamite Range. Habitat loss is another problem. It doesn’t help that scientists and conservationists can’t find them alive in the wild. Seems the hunters have better luck because they set traps for other animals like wild boar and muntjac.
For a little more information click HERE
Let’s see if we can get any pictures and videos.