Police seize heap of animal claws; hints death of 34 tigers

By Hai Binh   May 11, 2016 | 05:02 pm GMT+7

Police in the north-central province of Nghe An yesterday seized 700 animal claws at a private house in Dien Chau district they believe may have come from tigers.

Cao Xuan Vo, 26, the owner of the claws, said that he bought them from Laos for VND350 million ($15,000) and was going to sell them to jewelers.

The claws were carefully wrapped in several layers of papers. Police said that in their experience, the claws appear to have come from tigers, indicating that 34 of the animals had been killed.

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The animal claws were takenfor further investigation.

The claws will be sent to the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources for assessment.

Cao Xuan Vo will not be allowed to leave town during the investigation.

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Poaching has cut the number of wild tigers left in Vietnam to just five of the big cats. However, the number of wild tigers across the globe has increased for the first time in more than a century thanks to improved conservation efforts, according to the WWF.

In the Southeast Asia region, Laos and Cambodia are faced with the same problem. Laos has only two wild tigers left, and tigers are "functionally extinct" in Cambodia. In contrast, Indonesia has the largest number of wild tigers with 371, followed by Malaysia at 250 and Thailand with 189.