Saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis)

Captive Saola, Vietnam (William Robichaud)

Physical characteristics

Adult saola average 85 cm at the shoulder and weigh ~90 kg. Saola are defined by their long (av. 44.2 cm), slender, nearly straight horns with a slight curve backwards, as well as what are considered the largest maxillary (scent) glands among living mammals, located under a flap just in front of the eye.3,4,5 This gland secretes a thick grey-green paste with a foul, pungent musk.4 They have a compact neck and body, delicately shaped face with narrow muzzle and high-arching nasal bones, a soft thin coat of reddish brown with a black stripe along the back and distinctive buff-white patches and stripes across the face, rump and legs.3,4,5

Life history 

Longevity: Unknown, but one female studied was estimated to be 8–9 years’ old.