For the first time in 15 years an endangered horned creature has been spotted in the wild in the country of Vietnam. The elusive Saola, one of the Earth’s rarest animals, also known as the ‘Asian unicorn’, was photographed in a forest in Vietnam's central Annamite mountains.

The animal which resembles the antelope animal is seen walking through dense foliage at the edge of the camera's range in the image taken in September. It was was photographed by a strategically-placed camera trap hidden in the trees foliage.

Van Ngoc Thinh, WWF's Vietnam director, said in a statement: 'When our team first looked at the photos we couldn't believe our eyes. Saola are the holy grail for South East Asian conservationists so there was a lot of excitement. This is a breathtaking discovery and renews hope for the recovery of the species.’

The Saola was discovered in the remote mountains near Laos in 1992 when a joint team of WWF and Vietnam's forest control agency found a skull with unusual horns in a hunter's home. The discovery proved to be the first large mammal new to science in more than 50 years. Despite the animal's 'unicorn' nickname, it does in fact have two horns.

The Saola, Vu Quang ox or Asian unicorn is a forest-dwelling bovine found only in the Annamite Range of Vietnam and Laos. It is the cousin to the cow, goat, and antelope. The species was defined following a discovery of remains in 1992 in the Vũ Quang Nature Reserve. There are at best, no more than few hundred and maybe only a few dozen of theses that live in the remote, dense forests along Vietnam's border with Laos.


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