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'Asian Unicorn' Dangerously Close To Extinction

Filed under: EndangeredWildlifeHunting

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Already a rare sight to see, the saola may become nothing more that a fairy tale soon.

The saola, or Asian unicorn, is a type of bovine, similar to antelope but also related to cattle, buffaloes, and yaks.

It is dubbed the Asian unicorn because

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Asian Unicorn Captured, Dies In Captivity

Filed under: Sad SadEndangered

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One of the rarest animals in the world has been sighted.

The last time the Saola was seen was in 1999. Since the sightings are so rare, this creature has been likened to a unicorn, however it has two horns instead of one.

It turns out that villagers in the central province of Bolikhamxay in Laos captured a saola, which looks similar to an antelope. When news of the animal’s capture reached the authorities, a team advised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) were sent to Bolikhaxay to check on and eventually release the saola. Unfortunately, the animal, weakened by the ordeal died shortly after and was not released back into the wild.

The first discovery of the Saola was in 1992 in Vietnam near the country's border with Laos. The saola resembles the antelope, but is actually more closely related to wild cattle.

Saola are secretive which is why they are not often seen (no biologist has ever reported spotting one in the wild) and is why they are likened to a mythical unicorn.

The saola is listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species it is likely that no more than a few hundred exist. There are none in captivity and with very little information on how to care for them it is likely that the extinction of the saola in the wild will be the end of them everywhere.

This is so sad. Hopefully something will be able to be done for the “Asian Unicorn.”

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