Vietnam customs officers find big-cat fangs, claws in mail

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Customs officials in Ho Chi Minh City said Sunday they have seized 117 teeth, including fangs, and claws of lions and leopards sent from Africa and the US to Vietnam by mail.

According to the Express Mail Customs Division, they were found in four packages addressed to two people in District 8 during routine checks.

The HCMC Institute of Tropical Biology later identified them as belonging to African lions and leopards and North American cougars, all banned from import and export under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to which Vietnam is a signatory.

The case is being investigated.

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The International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species categorizes African lions as "vulnerable," and African leopards as "near threatened."

The North American cougar (Puma concolor cougar) is listed as a "least concern" species.

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