Forest rangers released four mouse deer into the wild Thursday after seizing them from a restaurant in the south central province of Binh Dinh, newswire Dan Tri reported.
A day earlier, officers from the Tuy Phuoc District Forest Protection Bureau found six mouse deer in captivity at a restaurant owned by Ngo Thi Xuan Phuong, 57, of Quy Nhon City.
The animals, weighing a total of 11 kilograms, were about to be slaughtered.
The officers confiscated the deer, of which two were seriously injured after being trapped, and provided them with medical care.
However, they later succumbed to their injuries.
The remaining four were released into a forest in the province, while local authorities said they were considering punishment for the restaurant's owner for the illegal trade of wildlife.
The mouse deer is among the smallest ungulates in the world.