Endangered tigers recover after being thrown from truck in central Vietnam

Thanh Nien News

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The two Indochinese tigers that were thrown out of a truck during a police chase have recovered in a national park in the north-central province of Nghe An.
The male and female tiger have begun to eat, four days after they were taken to the park unconscious at 2 a.m. on June 14, Luu Trung Kien, an official at Pu Mat National Park in Con Cuong District, told news website VnExpress on Tuesday. 
Last Friday (June 13), traffic police attempted to pull over a truck on a section of National Highway 1A’s in Nghe An’s Quynh Luu District.
The truck lacked license plates and its body was covered by a tarp.
The truck driver ignored the order and sped up, causing a team of police officers to give chase.
When the truck arrived at a small road, the driver made a sharp turn and jettisoned the two tigers.
The officers picked up the two animals, which were bound and anesthetized.
The truck fled the scene.
The 90-kilogram male and the 75-kilogram female were then taken to the Pu Mat National Park in the neighboring district of Con Cuong.
The male had a wound on its thoracic limb, while the female had a 3-cm-wide scratch on its head.
Officers at the park treated the tigers for their injuries while they were still unconscious. Five hours later, the tigers woke up and began to vomit.
It wasn't until Monday afternoon that the female was able to eat again. The male started to eat on Tuesday at noon --mostly beef and chicken.
The tigers are being kept in two separate cages in the park and their wounds have started to heal.
“The tigers seem angry and fierce when they see anyone approach them,” said Kien, a park official.
He said it will take more time for the tigers to recover their strength before they will be released back into the wild.
“But before being released to the wild, the tigers must be introduced to a semi-wild environment.
“Sadly, our park cannot provide such environment.”
Kien said the park is seeking the local government opinions on whether the tigers should be transferred to another wildlife rescue center for better treatment.
Nghe An police are still hunting for the truck and investigating the origins of the tigers.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Indochinese tigers live in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and southwestern China.
Their status is poorly known compared to other tiger subspecies, but the extent of their recent decline is “serious,” IUCN said.
In 2007, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species categorized Indochinese tigers as endangered, after their population fell to less than 2,500 individuals with no known sub population of more than 250.
IUCN believes that the species is approaching the threshold for being classified as “critically endangered.”

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