History Of Unicorns
Unicorns Of The Modern World
To regard the unicorn as wholly fabulous and a product of fancy is an absurd and arbritrary position and we do well to remember that if the elephant and giraffe and camel should once die out that too, on account of their strange forms, would be thought fabulous.
Joseph Russegger - 1843

It can be seen that the drawings of animals of the Holy Land faithfully portrayed by artist Erhard Reuwich in 1485 include among the monsters a baboon type, a giraffe type, a camel, 2 goats, a couple of lizards and a horse (not goat related) type of unicorn. All the animals (except the unicorn) are animals that can be seen in any zoo around the world,
Robert Vavra's QUEST for the unicorn began on December 17, 1959, in Surrey at the home of Veronica Tudor - Williams, author of Basenjis: The Barkless Dogs. Miss Tudor - Williams, along with the late Dr. James Chapin of the American Museum of Natural History, was one of

the first white persons to have studied the Basenji in Africa, where on three occasions she also saw a unicorn roaming the dunes of the Sudan. When she confided her discovery to me this search was instigated, an adventure that fortunately was to take me from England back to Spain, where I found two documents that were invaluable in helping me encounter the world's only large land mammal that - until fifteen years ago - had never been photographed.
In 1960 an American scholar who was doing research at the Archives of the Indies in Seville told Robert Vavra of a letter in which Bernal Diaz del Castillo mentioned having observed a unicorn during one of the Cortez expeditions to the New World. Fortunately, He saw and translated that piece of correspondence (which also contained a sketch of a unicorn in the margin) two weeks before - in a folder of priceless papers, including a Christopher Columbus signature - it was stolen from the Archives.
The second document, and the most important to his quest, was a journal that he purchased for 200 pesetas (about 3 U.S. dollars then) in January of 1961, in the Madrid flea market. As far as he knew, this ninety-six-page volume is the first serious complete unicorn behavioral study in existence. Dated "1836, Harar" and signed "Rudolf 0. Springer," it is in English, using American spelling, and contains detailed drawings and explicit written descriptions of its subject's history, appearance, and habits. Though Veronica Tudor-Williams's account of having seen unicorns in the Sudan and the words of Bernal Dfaz del Castillo were convincing, it was the Springer study that confirmed for Robert Vavra the authenticity of an animal that, until then, seemed destined to remain caged up in mythology.T
The photographic equipment hr used to take the photos used included two Nikon F2 cameras with motor drives, together with a 50-300 mm Nikkor zoom lens and two Nikkor telephoto lenses (a 105 mm and a 500 mm). Film shot was Ektachrome 200. His first face-to-face encounter with a unicorn took place in a Mexican jungle near Tamazunchale in the spring of 1968. The one photograph is so blurry and nondescript that it was unpublishable.
However, during the fifteen years since that magical but frustratingly brief experience in the jungles of Mexico, He has studied unicorns in six distinct habitat zones. And after hours, days, and months of continued contact he was eventually able to gain their confidence, using methods similar to those employed by George B. Schaller with gorillas and Jane Van Lawick
Goodall with chimpanzees in central Africa. The photographs that appear in the book (Unicorns I Have Known by Robert Vavra - William Morrow & Company.Inc.1983) are testimony to that good fortune.
The world's unicorn population is minute. Along with other endangered creatures they have been pushed deeper and deeper into the seas, forests, dunes, and mountains by encroaching civilization.
The unicorn's magical qualities have protected him for thousands of years, there is little reason to believe that evidence of his existence might lead to extinction now.
He can disappear as if by magic in the forest or other places he inhabits, In the past, unicorns have been seen and/or described by job, Isaiah, Aristotle, Julius Caesar, Aelian, Pliny the Elder, the mother of Confucius, Genghis Khan, and Marco Polo, along with numerous less famous persons.
Today the "Secret of their existence is shared by many men and women and even by some children. In January of 1982, some two dozen boys and girls in a school bus saw a unicorn playing in the- snow in central Colorado. Unicorn sightings are more common than one would, imagine. It is the idea of being thought a crank or, nobler, of not wanting to reveal such information to the impure of heart that has kept reports out of the newspapers and other media.
All The material above is from Robert Vavra's Unicorn I Have Known. I have no proof or disproof of the existence of unicorns in either modern or ancient times. You will have to buy and study his book and other books such as A Natural History Dragons and Unicorns by Paul and Karin Johnsgard and draw your own conclusions.
Lair 2000