S3 E2: Bill Robichaud & The Saola


We talk to conservationist Bill Robichaud, best known for his work to protect what many would argue is the world’s most enigmatic mammal: the Saola.

Saolas – a beautifully marked 100kg bovid – are often referred to as the ‘Asian Unicorn’ because of their scimitar-like horns and rarity. The species, first discovered by scientists in 1992 in the mountains of Vietnam, is one of the most stunning zoological discoveries of the past 100 years. Bill has dedicated his career to trying to learn more about – and protect – them, including helping to set up the IUCN’s Saola Working Group and the Saola Foundation.

In a fascinating conversation he talks about how the species was first discovered, and the handful of live animals that have been seen since. He offers hope for the species’ survival and what more might be done to save them from extinction.


There are plenty of interviews with Bill online including this video of a talk he made in 2015.

Before talking to Bill we had a chat with fellow mammalwatcher Greg Easton, who has submitted several trip reports over the years including this guide to the mammals of Yellowstone.

Cover art: Saola from a camera trap.