Vietnamese woman arrested for trade in moon bears

By Nguyen Quy   January 11, 2019 | 01:01 am PT
Vietnamese woman arrested for trade in moon bears
Two newborn moon bears were rescued in Hai Phong on Wednesday. Photo courtesy by Education for Nature-Vietnam
Hai Phong City police have detained a 27-year-old woman for illegal transport and sale of two newborn moon bears.

Kieu Thuy Hang was caught red-handed Wednesday night transfering the bears in an iron cage to a customer at a coffee shop on Lach Tray Street in Ngo Quyen District.

She told the police that she was hired by an unnamed woman to deliver the animals and take VND50 million ($2,147) from the customer, local media reports said.

The bears, weighing 900 grams each, were reportedly in poor health and have been taken to the Cuc Phuong National Park in the northern province of Ninh Binh, around three hours southeast of Hai Phong.

They will be treated by vets and other caretakers at the park according to the Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV), an environmental NGO.

Police are investigating the incident further.

Vietnam is home to the moon bear, also known as the Asian black bear, and the sun bear, both threatened by Chinese medicine practice using their meat and bile. They are listed as "vulnerable" species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and "endangered" in Vietnam's Red List.

Under Vietnamese law, the hunting, killing, trade, and transportation of endangered animals are considered a criminal offense and those committing it can be punished by up to seven years in jail.

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