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Photo in Vietnam shows mammal unseen for 15 years

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:56 a.m. HST, Nov 13, 2013

HANOI, Vietnam >> A camera trap in a forest in central Vietnam has managed to snap a photo of one of earth's rarest mammals, the saola, which hadn't been seen in 15 years.

The antelope-like, long-horned ox appears to walk through dense foliage at the edge of the camera's range in the image taken in September. Conservation group WWF released the image along with a statement Tuesday.

"This is a breathtaking discovery and renews hope for the recovery of the species," Van Ngoc Thinh, WWF's Vietnam director, was quoted as saying.

The animal was discovered in 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 find proved to be the first large mammal new to science in more than 50 years, according to the WWF.

Two saola were captured in central Vietnam in 1993 but died in captivity after several months.

The last sighting of a saola in the wild was in 1998, according to Dang Dinh Nguyen, director of a saola nature reserve in Vietnam's central province of Quang Nam.

In the area where the saola was photographed, WWF has recruited forest guards locally to remove snares and battle illegal hunting, the greatest threat to saolas' survival, the statement said. The snares had been set largely to catch other animals, such as deer and civets, which are a delicacy in Vietnam.

Twenty years since they were first known to science, the elusive mammals remain hard to detect and little is known about them.

At best, no more than few hundred, and maybe only a few dozen, live in the remote, dense forests along Vietnam's border with Laos, WWF said.

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nippy68 wrote:
it will be caught and eaten in no time.......
on November 12,2013 | 07:05PM
Manoa_Fisherman wrote:
It was delicious in Pho!
on November 12,2013 | 08:16PM
RetiredUSMC wrote:
Too bad they can't find our POW's!
on November 13,2013 | 03:15AM
RetiredWorking wrote:
Retired, maybe they've all been found or passed away, after all these years.
on November 13,2013 | 04:35AM
Bdpapa wrote:
We' ll never know!
on November 13,2013 | 05:05AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Yes. This story should have been out on Veterans Day.
on November 13,2013 | 05:03AM
hanalei395 wrote:
After 38 years, "complaints" still coming from sore losers.
on November 13,2013 | 11:32AM
RetiredUSMC wrote:
on November 15,2013 | 03:52PM
mikethenovice wrote:
on November 13,2013 | 05:02AM
mikethenovice wrote:
I was hoping that the some day the Republicans will be seldom seen.
on November 13,2013 | 05:02AM
krusha wrote:
Still no bigfoot photos...
on November 13,2013 | 06:01AM
leino wrote:
Yet another rare piece of the amazing genetic diversity on this planet humans can appreciate and hopefully protect. Anthropomorphic extinction is such a crime of ignorance. Extinction is forever ... at least so far.
on November 13,2013 | 07:56AM
cojef wrote:
What is the connection between this rare animal and human extinction??
on November 13,2013 | 08:22AM
Leinanij wrote:
Not human extinction cojef, animals. Hawai'i is the extinction capital of the world, with half of native bird species extinct already.
on November 13,2013 | 12:39PM
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