Tiger carcass found on bus turns out to be fake

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Police in the central province of Thua Thien - Hue said Friday that the supposed frozen tigress carcass they found on a bus the day before was actually a different kind of large cat bred to look like a tiger.

According to Phu Loc District authorities, tests conducted by the the provincial agricultural department's wildlife preservation agency showed that the cat was not a tiger and instead some kind of to-be-identified hybrid.

It weighed six kilograms, instead of 20 kilograms as it was initially reported, police said

The carcass was painted in yellow and white to look like a tiger, but the fur's natural color was black, according to investigators.

Police reports said that the carcass was found on a 46-seat bus driven by Le Ngoc Minh, 40, together with a two-kilogram tiger penis.

Minh, who was carrying passengers to Hanoi, told the police that he was hired to transport the carcasses from Ho Chi Minh City to the capital city, the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper said in a report Friday.

After the find, police transferred passengers to another bus so they could continue  trip. The driver was detained pending further investigation.

According to a seminar organized this July in Hanoi as part of the International Tiger Day, tigers in Vietnam are still facing the threat of domestic hunting and illegal cross-border trade.

The country is now home to less than 30 tigers, and the big cat is on the verge of extinction, wildlife experts said.

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