After having only relatively recently been discovered, the saola is now the focus of scientific attention for another reason, for being in grave danger of extinction. The species only has a small range where it is increasingly threatened by hunting and habitat loss (1). Snare-traps and hunting dogs are used to capture the saola, whose meat is sold in affluent urban centres. In the past, hunters have also tried to capture live saola because of intense interest from the world's scientific community (3). Sadly, all of the 13 known saola captured and held in captivity to date were badly kept and with the exception of two, which were released back into the wild, died within five months (2) (7). Habitat destruction poses another threat, with forests being fragmented by infrastructure development and shifting cultivation (2) (7). In Lao, the threat of hunting is exacerbated by the creation of logging roads, which fragment the remaining forest patches and make these animals more accessible to hunters (1) (2). In particular, the new Ho Chi Minh Road is a cause for considerable concern, since it slices through the length of the species' range in Vietnam and has feeder roads branching into Lao People's Democratic Republic (1).
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