Dong Nai park rangers are investigating the death of a wild gaur (Bos gaurus), the world’s largest bovine, the second such death at the Dong Nai Culture and Nature Reserve in two weeks.
Le Viet Dung, deputy head of the Dong Nai Forest Protection Agency, said park rangers had seen the animal grazing in the Ma Da Forest on March 13.
But they found its carcass body Monday while patrolling the area.
Dung said they found three small wounds in the shoulder and belly of the male gaur, which was aged around 10 and weighed 800kg.
“The gaur’s body parts were intact.”
Park rangers are working with the local police and animal health agency to identify the cause of death.
On February 28 rangers had found the head and skeleton of a female gaur weighing around 200 kg, also in Ma Da Forest.
On March 11 police arrested two men in nearby Binh Phuoc Province, who later admitted to poaching the gaur.
On Monday the third suspect in the case, Le Minh Tien, 32, turned himself in and confessed to helping the duo slaughter the gaur and sell its meat for VND6 million (US$270).
Conservationists estimate there are around 500 wild gaurs in Vietnam, including 300 in the more than 100,000-hectare (247,100 acres) Dong Nai Culture and Nature Reserve.
The number has shrunk from more than 3,000 in the 1970s, mostly due to poaching.