Discovered only in the year 1992, the Pseudoryx nghetinhensis, more commonly known as Saola is facing near extinction. According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, this mammal is categorized as Critically Endangered.
The Saola is classified as a cousin of the cattle species and it strikingly resembles the antelope. It is distinguish by its long horns and white markings on the face. It inhabits the dense forest of the Annamite Mountains in Laos and Vietnam and is distributed in scattered locations in the northwest-southeast Vietnam-Lao border. Because it is rarely seen, the Saola is also known as Asian unicorn.
Due to the difficulty in detecting the Saola, little is known about the species’ ecology and behavior. However, it is known that this mammal is an herbivore and they feed on fig leaves, seeds and fruits. It is a diurnal animal and is most active during mornings and afternoons. Researchers also suggest that the life expectancy of the Saola is around 8-11 years. They are unable to survive long periods in captivity. These information were gathered based on observations on 13 captive Saola, in which all but 2 died in captivity which further proves that the Saola is unable to survive in captivity.
Not many have ever heard of or seen this beautiful creature, and many will never get the chance to if nothing to done to help them.