The saola is known as the Asian unicorn. This animal is so rare that it was not discovered until 1992 in the valley of Vietnam and Laos. The worldwide population is estimated to be only 800 animals.
While wildlife in the Saola’s range are most threatened mainly by commercial hunting for the bushmeat and traditional medicine trades, specific demand for Saola is almost non-existent, because the species is unknown in the traditional Chinese pharmacopoeia (nor is its meat considered to be particularly tastier than muntjacs or Sambar). Instead, the animal is snared incidentally in the intense, general pursuit primarily of other species valued in the region’s wildlife trade.