Vietnamese NGO Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV) rescued a leopard cat from illegal trade in the northeastern province of Ha Giang on Thursday, online newspaper VnExpress reported.
Following tip-offs from local residents, ENV informed forest protection officers in Hoang Su Phi District's Vinh Quang Town that a leopard cat was being kept in captivity at a local eatery.
The officers raided the eatery but the cat had been sold to a resident in Bac Quang district.
They tracked down the resident and successfully persuaded him to hand over the cat.
The animal will be released in Cuc Phuong National Park in Ninh Binh Province next week, they said.
The leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) a small wild cat of South and East Asia is listed as endangered in Vietnam. The exploitation and use of the cat for commercial purposes is illegal.
The cats are found in mountainous provinces across Vietnam.