[enviro-vlc] Saola photographed for first time in 12 years
vern.weitzel at gmail.com
Mon Sep 20 15:18:18 EST 2010
From: Moderator <laofab at gmail.com>
Date: 16 September 2010 2:37:03 PM PDT
To: LaoFAB <laofab at googlegroups.com>
Subject: [LaoFAB] Re: Saola photographed for first time in 12 years
Reply-To: laofab at googlegroups.com
Photos of the Saola can be seen at the IUCN website:
On Sep 16, 4:12 pm, Rakesh <rakesh.munank... at gmail.com> wrote:
> Saola photographed for first time in 12 years
> One of the world's rarest animals has been seen by biologists for the
> first time in more than a decade, in Borikhamxay province.
> The saola, an adult male, was caught by villagers in Xaychamphone
> district but died before provincial authorities could return it to its
> natural habitat.
> On the evening of August 22, the provincial Agriculture and Forestry
> Department received a report from district authorities that villagers
> had caught a saola and were keeping it alive in a wooded area near
> their village.
> “The saola was alive when we received the call,” Mr Keovongdeuane
> Phanthanongsy, an official from the provincial Agriculture and
> Forestry Department, told the Vientiane Times yesterday. Phonngnam
> village, where the saola was kept, is about 60km from Khamkeut
> district. The saola was found in the village's “sacred forest”, he
> The department imme-diately dispatched a technical team to examine the
> animal and release it. However, by the time they arrived in the remote
> village, the animal was much weakened by the ordeal of several days in
> The team decided to release it the following morning, because the
> animal needed urgent care from veterinarians.
> Unfortunately, the saola died shortly after the team's arrival.
> “The saola is a wild animal, it's not a pet, so when people catch it
> and cage it, the animal will die,” Mr Keovongdeuane explained.
> The technical team was able to photograph the animal, and preserve the
> body for further study. Very little is known about the saola, and the
> information can contribute to efforts to conserve the species in the
> It is still not clear why the villagers took the animal into
> captivity. Provincial and district forestry authorities are now urging
> villagers in the area not to capture saola, and to immediately release
> any others they might encounter.
> A statement from the Provincial Conservation Unit of Borikhamxay
> province said "The death of this saola is unfortunate, but at least it
> confirms an area where it still occurs, and the government will
> immediately move to strengthen conservation efforts there."
> According to the Wildlife Conservation Society in Laos, the saola was
> discovered as a species new to science only in 1992, in forests in
> Vietnam near the Lao border. It was one of the most surprising and
> spectacular animal discoveries of the 20th century.
> With their long horns and white facial markings, saola resemble the
> antelopes of North Africa, but are more closely related to cattle.
> They are solitary and secretive, and inhabit only dense forests of the
> Annamite Mountains along the Lao-Vietnamese border.
> The species is considered "critically endangered" by the International
> Union for the Conservation of Nature, and probably no more than a few
> hundred survive. It is one of the most threatened large mammals in the
> Although local villagers still report seeing saola in several areas of
> Laos and Vietnam, the last confirmed records were two photos of saola
> in the wild taken by automatic camera traps in 1999, also in
> Borikhamxay province. There are no saola in zoos anywhere.
> By Khonesavanh Latsaphao
> (Latest Update September 15, 2010)
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