Hanoi police raided a restaurant Tuesday and stopped it from serving meat from an endangered wildcat.
The 3.5-kg animal had been drowned for butchering at the Vietnamese Cuisine Restaurant, 20 Ven Ho Tay, near the West Lake, when the police broke in at 11 a.m.
It is illegal in Vietnam to raise the animal in captivity or use it for commercial purposes.
A chef at the restaurant said a person gave the animal to the restaurant to raise, but when some customers asked for a wildcat dish, the restaurant owner decided to serve it.
The restaurant hoped to bill the customers around VND3 million (US$144) for it, he said.
In 2009 and 2010 the World Wildlife Fund and its Vietnamese partners began the Green Restaurant Campaign, encouraging restaurants not to serve meat from wild animals.
The campaign was supported by at least 200 restaurants in Hanoi and nearby Nam Dinh Province.
Vietnamese law prescribes a minimum fine of VND50 million (US$2,400) or up to three years in jail for killing, possessing, or trading rare or endangered animals.