Endangered bison spotted for the first time in decades

A wildlife sanctuary in Thailand captured a rare sighting of a bison for the first time in 37 years.

Video footage recorded in the early days of October at the Salawin Wildlife Sanctuary in northern Thailand captured an endangered bison roaming in the dark hours, according to Thai media reports.

The bison, known as Bos Gaurus locally, has been endangered for decades in Thailand.

This sighting, which confirmed the presence of the bison in the sanctuary, reignited hopes that a small group of bison maybe living at the sanctuary.

It also makes the sanctuary the only protected forest in northern Thailand where the animal had been seen in recent history. The last time this species of the large bovine was spotted was in1986.

Arkhom Boonnontae, chief of the Salawin Wildlife Sanctuary, said on Saturday that the sanctuary’s staff had been installing camera traps to continuously survey the distribution of wildlife in the area, according to the NationThailand.

He said they selected areas “where wildlife tracks were abundant or where different types of wildlife were reported to have been seen in the area”.

“And in the early hours of the morning in the past month, we got a photo of a rare wildlife in Northern Thailand, that is a Bos gaurus,” he told the outlet.

The sanctuary is an important area in terms of ecology and biodiversity for the border forest between Thailand and Myanmar.

The Bos Gaurus is also known as Gaur and is native to South and Southeast Asia. It is the largest extant bovine and has been listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1986.

The endangered species’ population in Thailand started decreasing as its suitable habitat was reduced. The bisons are also threatened by poaching for commercial trade in meat and trophies.