Live tiger cubs found in central Vietnam trafficking bust

By Nguyen Hai   August 2, 2021 | 03:53 am PT
Live tiger cubs found in central Vietnam trafficking bust
Tiger cubs are found on a car in Nghe An, August 1, 2021. Photo courtesy of Nghe An police.
Seven live tiger cubs were found in a car stopped on suspicion of wildlife trafficking in Nghe An Province Sunday. Two men were arrested.

The bust happened just three days after the Global Tiger Day was observed (July 29).

Tran Trung Hieu, 37, and Nguyen Van Lai, 54, both from Ha Tinh Province, were driving a seven seat car from their hometown to the neighboring Nghe An when they were stopped by police in Dien Chau District.

The two men resisted the police officers and tried to escape but were overpowered and arrested.

The healthy tiger cubs, weighing over 35 kg, were kept in plastic baskets in the car. They have been transferred to the province's Pu Mat National Park. An investigation is ongoing.

The tiger is functionally extinct in Vietnam but trade in tiger parts still happens because many Vietnamese believe that "bone glue" from animals like tigers and monkeys are good for treating bone and joint-related ailments.

They fetch high prices with 100 grams of tiger bone glue costing around VND18 million ($780) while 100 grams of monkey bone glue costs VND400,000-500,000.

It is illegal to hunt, kill, possess, capture, transport, or trade protected animals in Vietnam, with violations carrying penalties of up to 15 years in prison and fines of up to VND15 billion ($645,000).

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