Vietnam man caught illegally transporting 'vulnerable' black bears

TN News

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Police in the central Vietnamese province of Nghe An said Sunday they have taken a man into custody for illegally transporting three endangered Asiatic black bears, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.

Nguyen Van Chung, 25, was caught with the animals each weighing 15 kilograms -- indicating they are babies or adolescents -- on a motorbike by forest rangers in Pu Mat National Park on June 29.

It is thought that he brought them from Laos.

Chung said he was hired to transport them to Do Luong District for VND1 million (US$47.4).

Park authorities have taken custody of the bears, one of which has lost a leg.

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The police are investigating.

Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) are categorized as "vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, mainly because of deforestation and poaching for body parts.

Its bile is sold as an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine.

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