The saola is a mysterious animal that inhabits pristine woodlands. Though the species was discovered relatively recently, hunting and forest land development have already driven it to the edge of extinction.
Body length: 150 to 200 cm
Tail length: 13 cm
Weight: 100 kg (Estimated)
(Source: Doubutsu Sekai-isan* Red Data Animals Kodansha) (*World Animal Heritage)
Deep in the forests of the Southeast Asian countries of Vietnam and Laos, far from human settlements
Saolas love leaves, and they also eat grass.
Both males and females have long, slightly curved horns, and white markings above the eyes, like eyebrows. Saolas are mysterious animals, and little is known about how they live.
The difficult to see phantom of the forests
The saola is called a phantom animal because it was completely unknown until recently, even though it has a body length of one meter. The horns of a saola were discovered in 1992, and in the 20 years since then only two have been captured, one in 1996 and one in 2010. Because there are so few saolas that live in deep forests far from human settlements, they are very hard to find.
Humans invading pristine forest?!
Originally, some local people hunted saolas as food. Even after the horns that give the soala its name ("saola" means "spindle horn") were discovered and many more people found out about the animal, local people have continued to hunt it. In addition, deforestation and dam construction have destroyed natural habitats. Now human development is starting to encroach on the pristine forest where the saola lives, putting this species on the edge of extinction.
If you click the words above, you can see other animals related to this one.