Frozen tiger found in ambulance in northern Vietnam

By VnExpress   April 7, 2017 | 05:17 pm GMT+7
Frozen tiger found in ambulance in northern Vietnam
The carcass of the frozen tiger found on an ambulance in Thanh Hoa Province on Wednesday. Photo by VnExpress

The driver and his accomplice fled the scene, leaving the 180-kilogram tiger in the vehicle.

Traffic police in Thanh Hoa Province discovered a dead tiger in an ambulance traveling through the northern province along the Ho Chi Minh Highway on Wednesday.

Police initially tried to pull the ambulance over for a traffic violation, but the driver managed to escape on foot, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper quoted a police officer as saying Friday.

The ambulance was heading towards neighboring Hoa Binh Province, around 70 kilometers (44 miles) southwest of Hanoi.

The driver abandoned the vehicle and escaped into Cuc Phuong National Park, followed by another unidentified person.

Police in Thanh Hoa have taken the carcass for further investigation.

Tiger bones are used in Vietnam to make traditional medicine to treat bone or joint-related ailments, despite no scientific evidence to say the treatment is effective. The bones are boiled down until they form a glue-like substance, which is then dried and sold for around VND20 million ($880) per 100 grams.

Locally-based conservation group Education for Nature-Vietnam estimated that from 2006 to September 2016, the organization investigated 971 cases of trading, transporting, selling and advertising of tigers or tiger products. They helped rescue 14 live tigers and confiscated 69 dead tigers.

Vietnam currently has only five tigers left in the wild, a sharp drop from 30 in 2011.