How do saola care for their offspring?

There is little information available on parental investment of saola, although Artiodactyl young are generally precocious. Like other members of the family, it is likely that most parental care is provided by the mother. Young receive nourishment from mother’s milk, protection from mother, and probably some form of grooming.

It is not known whether saola use their horns as display for mating purposes. They are similar to other Bovinae, like four-horned antelope, in that gestation lasts 8 months. Saola only have one offspring per litter. Other information on reproduction in this species is not available.

While I was reading we ran into the question “Can a saola live in captivity?”.

All known captive saola have died, leading to the belief that this species cannot live in captivity. “The team found a skull with unusual long, straight horns in a hunter’s home and knew it was something extraordinary, reported the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 1993.

This begs the inquiry “What is the lifespan of a saola?”

They are thought to live for between 8 and 11 years in the wild. Like all other Antelope species and indeed Cattle, the Saola is a herbivorous animal that survives on a diet that is solely comprised of plants and plant matter.

What do saola eat?

The Saola is also thought to feed on fruits, seeds and berries from these plants, along with munching on grasses and herbs that grow on the ground, rather than above it.

What kind of plants do saola eat?

Robichaud offered spleenwort (Asplenium) fern species, broad dark-green plants of the genus Homalomena, and various species of broad-leaved shrubs or trees of the subfamily Sterculiaceae to the captive animal. The saola fed on all plants, and showed a preference for the Sterculiaceae species.

You might be thinking “Do saolas pull at leaves?”

She did not pull at leaves, she would rather chew or pull them into her mouth using her long tongue. She fed mainly during the day, and rarely in the dark. The saola is also reputed to feed on Schismatoglottis, unlike other herbivores in its range.

What kind of behavior does a saola have?

Ecology and Behavior Very few saola have been studied alive, and most of our knowledge comes from observations of a single female in a zoo. The species appears to be most active in the mornings and afternoons. The large facial gland can be opened to deposit scent on objects, which might be used in marking a territory.

What does the saola browse?

Local villagers have reported that the saola browses on leafy plants, fig leaves, and stems along rivers and animal trails; the calf captured in 1994 ate Homalomena aromatica, an herb with heart-shaped leaves. The bovine appears to be mainly solitary, although it has been seen in groups of two to three and rarely in groups of six or seven.

What is being done to protect the saola?

WWF has been involved with the protection of the saola since its discovery, focused on strengthening and establishing protected areas as well as research, community-based forest management, and strengthening law enforcement. Management of Vu Quang Nature Reserve where the saola was discovered has improved in recent years.