An endagered leopard arrived sharp and strong at a national park in southern Vietnam Monday, ready for life in the wild more than two years after it was found being kept illegally by a local resident.
The 32-kilogram leopard (Panthera pardus), has been treated at the wildlife rescue center of Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City since its rescue.
The first large carnivorous cat rescued by southern authorities has been sent to Cat Tien National Park in Dong Nai Province, and will stay at a reserve in the park for a while before being set free.
In 2008, forest rangers in the Mekong Delta Vinh Long Province took the leopard from a resident who was keeping it in captivity illegally.
It is illegal for citizens to keep endangered animals in their homes in Vietnam.
Nguyen Chuong, deputy head of the Wildlife Rescue Center of Cu Chi District, said wildlife trafficking activities were increasing and getting more sophisticated.
Since 2006, the center has rescued nearly 2,000 animals from 39 species including endangered bears, pangolins, golden turtles and copperhead snakes.