Rangers seize illegal tiger in notorious Vietnamese province

TN News

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Park rangers in the north central province of Nghe An confiscated a tiger from the house of Nguyen Thi Hoi in Yen Thanh District's Do Thanh Commune on Tuesday.

Nguyen Trong Thuc, the district's chief park ranger, said the tiger weighs around 200 kilograms.

Le Cao Binh, chief park ranger for the province, said the tiger is being kept by Yen Thanh District police until relevant authorities receive instruction from their superiors.

Recently, police in Nghe An Province have been busy tracking down illegally kept tigers after several online newspapers reported the rampant breeding and keeping of the cats in private residences in Yen Thanh District.

The reports say many Yen Thanh residents have been raising tigers "like pigs" in their homes, stealthily keeping the cats hidden indoors and earning big profits from selling the animals, whose bones are often used in traditional medicine.

For example, an adult tiger weighing more than 100 kilograms can be sold for VND500 million (US$24,000).

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development then asked Nghe An authorities to inspect the secret farms where the tigers were allegedly being raised and to punish the breeders. The breeding of tigers with no legal origin at unregistered farms violates Vietnamese law and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to which Vietnam is a signatory.

Yen Thanh District authorities have launched several investigations, but had not seized any tigers there until earlier this week.

However, on November 6, police in the adjacent Dien Chau District seized two tigers from the house of Nguyen Van Sang.

Further investigations determined that the tigers actually belonged to Nguyen Thi The of Yen Thanh District. Thi The admitted that she had asked Sang to keep her two tigers after local media reported on the illegal tiger breeding that was allegedly rampant within her district.

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