Police in the central province of Ha Tinh on Wednesday arrested two men found carrying three endangered Sun bears from Laos into Vietnam.
Ngo Van Trai, 23, and Vu Van Hanh, 20, both from the adjacent province of Nghe An, said an unidentified man had hired them to transport the bears for VND6 million (US$316).
The bears were handed over to Ha Tinh's Forest Rangers while the case is investigated.
The Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus), which are mainly found in the Southeast Asia's tropical rainforests, are categorized as "vulnerable" in the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List.
It is the smallest member of the bear family and likely gets its name from a pale yellow-orange horseshoe shaped marking on its chest.