Do you know an animal called Saola? The saola is a cow so rare that it is called Vietnam’s miracle animal. The saola is often mistaken for the Cambodian cooplei, but they are different animals. The saola has another name and is an animal called the Vietnamese antelope.
Saolas live mainly in Vietnam, but some also live in Laos.
The saola is an artiodactyl that belongs to the bovidae family, the genus Saola. With a body length of 150 to 200 cm and a weight of 90 kg, it is a cow that is equal to or even larger than a human. The fur on the whole body is dark reddish brown or dark brown, the limbs are black, and there are white markings around the eyes and on the snout. Both male and female saolas have horns, and the size is about 30cm to 50cm. Saolas prefer to live in evergreen or semi-deciduous forests. They prefer forested areas because their main food is leaves. Saolas generally live alone, but they may form groups. This is to protect yourself from foreign enemies.
Saolas subsist mainly on grass leaves. The mode of reproduction is viviparous. The gestation period is approximately 8 months. Females often give birth to one young at a time, and this occurs from May to August.
The saola lived in forests near the border between Vietnam and Laos. However, due to war and development, their habitat has been reduced and fragmented, and in some areas they have become extinct. That’s not all. In recent years, the number of people hunting saola has increased, and the rate of decline in their population has become remarkable. Saola is very often eaten. The saola was last seen in the wild in Vietnam in 1998, and it was last seen in Laos in 1999, but it was seen again in 2013. It is said that there are only 200 saolas left in the wild today, and they have come to be called mythical animals. If we do not protect them immediately, there is a high possibility that they will become extinct. Currently, the saola is designated as an endangered species, listed in Appendix I of the Washington Convention, and export is prohibited.
Saolas are extremely rare, so keeping them in captivity is extremely difficult. If you want to see saolas, you have no choice but to go to Southeast Asia.