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Scientists have confirmed the first sighting in more than a decade of one of the world's rarest animals
First discovered in 1992, the saola is considered critically endangered, its numbers so few that biologists have never witnessed one in the wild. Fewer than a few hundred saolas are believed to roam the Annamite Mountains of Laos and Vietnam. There are none in captivity.
The rarity of the saola, which resembles an African antelope but it more closely related genetically to wild cattle, gives it mythical status in some circles, according to the IUCN.
The saola, although it has two horns, may be the basis of the mythical Chinese unicorn, the qilin, although it is unknown if saolas ever existed in China.
"The death of this saola is unfortunate," the Provincial Conservation Unit of Bolikhamxay province said in the IUCN statement. "But at least it confirms an area where it still occurs and the government will immediately move to strengthen conservation efforts there."