It’s been only two decades since the ‘Asian Unicorn’ was discovered. In 1992, the Saola species has been found grazing the luscious rainforests and marshes of the Vitenam-Lao border. It looks more like an antelope but really, Saola is a bovine more related to Cattles. Considered as a breakthrough, this unicorn is already fearing extinction and has been in ‘Critically Endangered’ status according to the IUCN.
Different conservation groups have been calling the attention of locals to ask for their help. They are trying to raise awareness to save this precious species’ existence. The main threats to Saola’s extinction are purely man-made. Snares and poaching make it impossible for these animals to graze freely. No wonder that in a short span of time, its population has decreased to a drastic amount. Locals make them a source of meat to eat and according to William Robichaud of Global Wildlife Conservation, its life span and survival once in captivity only lasts for 5 months. Poor nutrition and stress will make Saola weak and cause their death. In general, they could live for up to 20 years if only a healthy environment is provided for them which is unfortunately not the case.
Though Saola’s decline is slightly imminent, an action to save them is needful. Raising awareness about their species is as important as saving them. They need to be known so a clamor to save them can take place. Be an activist and fight for the rights of these animals who can’t protect themselves from cruelty. Let us protect their habitat and stop patronizing any product that comes from them especially their meat. Let us save Saola and conserve their species, we’re truly lucky to see a ‘unicorn’ and witness their mystery in our lifetime.