Elusive Horned Animal Not Yet Seen by Scientists in the Wild

Photo by Bill Robichaud
Image: Bill Robichaud via Flickr

This animal is real — but has never before been seen in the wild by a scientist.

The saola is a genetically distinct mammal with relations to cattle, goats, and antelope. This five foot long being is the largest animal known to man that hardly anything is known about.

Saola inhabit the wet forests of the Annamite Mountains of Indochina. While local villages and hunters have always been familiar with them, it was not until recently they were officially recognized on a biological scale, after surveyors discovered the prized horns in a hunter’s household. 

Photo Credit Wikipedia Image: Wikipedia

Its genetic variation from other mammals attributes to its unique rarity.  The saola are the perfect epitome of the valuable biodiversity of the Annamite area — and they are in grave danger. The animal’s natural habitat is an area riddled with snares and constantly threatened by poachers. While hunters seek out the more valuable carcasses of tigers, elephants and pandas, saola become unintentional causalities due to their shared environments.

This issue of these critically endangered animals is difficult to address due to the remoteness of their inhabitation. Lack of information makes for limited support for public conservation — especially when the people that are closest to them prefer them for their meat or trophy horns.

Despite the near scientific invisibility of the saola, steps are being made in the right direction. The Saola Working Group was established in the mid 2000s and has since initiated a massive snare removal program and provision of local education. The local villages and public resources combined can help save the elusive saola and offer scientists a chance to finally observe them in the wild.

Video:

Want to help save the saola? Gift a much needed donation here.

The Latest

Giant Beached Oarfish Predict Earthquakes

Giant Beached Oarfish Predict Earthquakes

Reports of oarfish turning up on shore have historically preceded earthquakes — leaving scientists pondering how some animals may be able to forecast the future. Regalecus glesne, or the oarfish, is the longest bony...

Lonely Monkey Tries to Mate with Deer

Lonely Monkey Tries to Mate with Deer

This monkey is a real swinger, and researchers have the sex tape to prove it. The Japanese macaque was recorded trying to mount not one, but two Sika deer, and even chased away...

Spider-Eating Wasp Species Build Homes with Ant Corpses

Spider-Eating Wasp Species Build Homes with Ant Corpses

A new species of spider wasp was discovered killing live ants and collecting the bodies for home security. Deuteragenia ossarium is a recently analyzed species of spider wasp that was found hiding skeletons...

100,000 Shark Fins Discovered on Rooftops in Hong Kong

100,000 Shark Fins Discovered on Rooftops in Hong Kong

A director for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society recently reported finding more than 100,000 shark fins drying on a rooftop in Shanghai.  Southeast Asia has become the frontrunner for capturing sharks and removing...

Scientists Discovered Why Elephants Don’t Get Cancer

Scientists Discovered Why Elephants Don’t Get Cancer

Image: Wikipedia While theoretically larger animals with more cells should be more predisposed to cancer — research shows elephants are hardly ever affected. Cancer is created when mistakes are made in cell reproduction,...

Skinks Defend Themselves by Sticking Their Tongues Out

Skinks Defend Themselves by Sticking Their Tongues Out

These unique reptiles open gaping pink mouths and wag their bright blue tongues to scare away predators — often with astounding success. Blue tongued skinks are native to Australia and persist primarily in...

ABOUT US

Roaring Earth brings you thrilling, unique and thought-provoking stories about the natural world. From the wildest places on earth, to extraordinary encounters in our own backyards. Whether shot by a world-renowned filmmaker with the most exclusive camera equipment or by you on your smart phone or trail cam, we are sharing stories that are rarely covered and giving a voice to to the wildlife enthusiast within us all.

The Latest

More Roaring Videos