Saola (Rarest Animal In The World):

Asian unicorn | Saola

During the survey of 1992, Saola was identified by the Vietnam Ministry of WWF (world wildlife fund). The scientific name for Saola is Pseudoeyx NghetinhensisThe discovery of Saola was the first largest mammal in the 20th century. Saolas are closely related to the bovine family.

The Animal With Long Pointed Horns:

The Saola has two parallel horns with sharp pointed ends, and white marking on his face. The horns can reach up to the length of 20 inches; the horns can be found in both male and female Saola. The maximum weight of a Saola can reach between 80-100 kgs and can height around 85 cm. The long tongue of Saola can stretch up to 16 inches.

Saola Habitat:

The Saola was developed around the Annamite Mountain between Vietnam and Laos. They generally prefer to habitat in the wet evergreen or deciduous forest choose to stay near rivers and valleys. The region of Annamite is tropical or sun tropical moist, and Saola prefers to reside at the edge zone of the forests. During the wet seasons, Saola picks to live in the mountain forests, and during winters, they move down to the lowlands.

Asian Unicorn:

Saola are often called as Asian Unicorns.

What Does Saola Eat?

Saola is an herbivorous animal (plant-eating animal), who feeds on fig leaves, leafy plants, and other plants. Saola also eats the seeds, fruits, and berries that are found on the river banks. The favorite food of Saola is Schismataglottis, (a non-fragrant tropical flower).

Saola Facts:

  • Saola is a large animal that seems like antelopes; they are covered with red, brown, or black fur. It has a tricolored tail- brown at the top, beige in the middle, and black at the end.
  • The skin of the Saola is thick, thus preventing them from severe injuries.
  • Saolas are the animals that are active during the day time only.
  • Saolas are unsociable animals and roam in small groups.
  • As compared to female Saola, male Saola roams in large areas. They have a large maxillary gland to produce a small sticky substance to mark borders of their territory.
  • The habitat of Saola is shared with other wild animals like tigers and crocodiles, and these animals are there biggest enemies.
  • Birth of a baby Saola in Vietnam occurs between February and March, and in Laos, it takes place between April and June.
  • The gestation lasts for 8-9 months, and the little baby calf is known as the reproductive behavior of the saola.
  • Based on the observation of scientists, it is believed that Saola can live for 8-11 years.
  • Since the discovery of Saola, the WWF (world wildlife fund) is involved in the protection of this extinct species.
  • Thua-Thien hue and Quang Nam provinces are the two Saola reserves established for their conservation.

Saola Population:

The total population of Saola is less than 750; the species are gradually decreasing due to its hunting. The species scattered from the river CA in the north to the Quang Nam in the south, but the exact numbers are not identified. In Laos, the species resides in the southern part of Nakai Nam.

Why is the Saola endangered?

The main reason behind their decreasing population is hunting; they are often caught in traps meant for boar, sambar and muntjac deer. Local villagers snare saola to protect their crops. The Saola is also poached to produce a traditional Chinese medicine, it is said that the facial glands of saola are used to treat ailments. Rapid growth in the infrastructure causes the decline of these species. The Saola is also hunted so that its horns can be used to make prize trophies.

How Many Saola Are Left In The World:

IUCN estimates the total saola population to be less than 750, likely to be much less.