World Saola Day on July 9 marks a renewed sense of hope and urgency for an international partnership developing the first-ever conservation breeding program for the saola, an antelope-like mammal so rare that no biologist has ever seen it in the wild.
THE SAOLA WAS DISCOVERED IN MAY 1992
The saola was discovered in May 1992 during a joint survey carried out by the Ministry of Forestry of Vietnam and WWF in north-central Vietnam. The team found a skull with unusual long, straight horns in a hunter's home and knew it was something extraordinary. The find proved to be the first large mammal new to science in more than 50 years and one of the most spectacular zoological discoveries of the 20th century.
THE ACTUAL SIZE OF THE REMAINING POPULATION IS UNKNOWN
Often called the Asian unicorn, little is known about the enigmatic saola in the two decades since its discovery. None exist in captivity and this rarely-seen mammal is already critically endangered. Scientists have categorically documented saola in the wild on only four occasions to date.
The actual size of the remaining population is unknown. Its rarity, distinctiveness and vulnerability make it one of the greatest priorities for conservation in the region. The current population is thought to be a few hundred at a maximum and possibly only a few dozen at a minimum.
Sources: worldwildlife.org , wwf.panda.org
LET'S FIGHT TO SAVE THE MOST ENDANGERED
VAKOVAKO will soon fight to save the most endangered species. 100 % of all donations given via our app to „MOST ENDANGERED“ area will by transfered to related NGOs. Let’s help them expand their activities together.