The Sumatran serow, a sub-species of the Capricornis sumatraensis goat-antelope, is an animal that’s little-studied and little-understood, according to the handful of researchers interested in it. Scientists don’t know its eating habits or its social organization, have very few photos or videos of it, and have rarely recorded any direct sightings of the elusive animal. The serow shares the same habitat as better-known species such as the Sumatran tiger and the sun bear, but hasn’t attracted anywhere close to the same level of funding for research and conservation activities as these other, “charismatic” animals. Ostensibly protected under Indonesian law, the serow continues to be hunted for food and for traditional medicine, although researchers say there’s a growing awareness among communities about the need to conserve the species. So far, the Sumatran serow has eluded Pungky Nanda Pratama. Some villagers tell him the animal, a type of goat-antelope, sleeps in the trees hanging by its horns, or scales mountains by hooking its horns on rocks. But even after five years spent searching for the serow near a volcano on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, Pungky has only ever seen its skull. “It’s like it’s mythical,” says Pungky, 29, a founder […]

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