“Only if they ate glitter!!” (Anyone else hear this joke on last night’s Conan?! Good stuff.) Anway, unicorns do exist (kinda, but not really). They just don’t look like the ones Lisa Frank use to draw about. Actually the “Asian unicorn” looks nothing like what i want it
to look like–think, a goat with horns. And it’s thisclose to looking like nothing, because the extremely rare saola (antelope-like creature) species is on the verge of extinction!
The species that lives in remote regions of the Annamite mountains on the border of Vietnam and Laos, dubbed the Asian Unicorn because it is so rarely seen. It came to worldwide attention in 1992 as the first large mammal to be discovered in over 50 years when surveyors from the Vietnamese Ministry of Forestry and the WWF found skulls of the unknown species in mountain villages.
Conservation groups report that populations of the saola is dropping. Estimates of the current population range from 10 to several hundred. A 2009 meeting of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) concluded that the species population has dropped precipitously, and the saola remains on its list of critically endangered species.
Poaching is on the rise, and people like their fancy meats. (Gag.)
“An increasing number of people going to restaurants and buying splashy meals. If you’re trying to impress your business partners especially around festival seasons, then you take them out for expensive dinners. A great way to kind of show off and be a status symbol is to eat status meat.”
Source for more information here, aka TheGuardian.
- Elusive ‘Asian Unicorn’ Faces Extinction (livescience.com)
- Saola: Elusive ‘Asian unicorn’ faces extinction 20 years after discovery (mnn.com)