Live tiger rescued from car en route to Hanoi

By Le Hoang   November 8, 2017 | 09:54 am GMT+7
Live tiger rescued from car en route to Hanoi
A tiger found in a car in Vietnam on Monday. Photo by VnExpress/V.Thien

Wild tigers can be counted on one hand in Vietnam, where people consume everything from the skin to the bones.

Police in Vietnam arrested a driver on Monday night after discovering a live tiger in his car, which he said was being delivered to customers in Hanoi.

The car was stopped in Bim Son Town, Thanh Hoa Province, around 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of Hanoi.

The 300kg (661 lbs) tiger has been transferred to an animal welfare center.

Le Van Trung, the 36-year-old driver, has been detained facing charges of wildlife trafficking.

Tigers are facing extinction in Vietnam, where the animal is trafficked for its meat, decorative skin and claws. Its bones are illegally traded to make a gluey substance some people believe can cure arthritis and make them stronger.

Data from the International Union of Conservation for Nature and national tiger surveys released by the World Wildlife Fund in April last year showed that the number of wild tigers in Vietnam has shrunk to less than five, a significant decline from estimates of between 30 and 50 around five years ago. The number reported in the early 2000s was more than 100.

Tigers are classified as an endangered species worldwide as poaching and habitat loss threatens their survival.

Conservationists say Vietnam is one of the world’s worst countries for the trade in endangered species.

Police regularly seize hauls of ivory, rhino horn and exotic species including pangolins, but conservation groups say these represent just a small part of the trade passing through the country.