Police in the central province of Ha Tinh said Tuesday they are testing bone and other samples they obtained from a raid last week to see if they are from a tiger.
Colonel Phan Van Dan, police chief of Nghi Xuan District, said officers seized more than 100 kilograms of meat and bones -- besides a large piece of tiger skin -- that was being cooked in pots at a house on May 17, news website VietNamNet reported.
The occupants of the house were suspected to be making a paste from the animal's body parts, an exotic product believed to be a tonic.
Dan said three men were guarding the pots, including Dao Cong Duc, 20, the son of the house's owner, his relative Nguyen Van Kiem, 55, and a local man named Truong Dinh Vinh, 30.
The owner, identified only as D.V.L., denied the parts were from a tiger and claimed they were from pigs and deer.
The skin had been bought by Vinh from a stranger on the black market, he claimed further.
In Vietnam, it is illegal to possess or trade tigers or their parts.
Conservationists have called for more effective protection of the animal than mere prohibition, fearing the tiger could soon end up like the Javan rhino, which became extinct in the country in 2010.
Environment officials say the wild tiger population in Vietnam is also threatened by inbreeding.
There were fewer than 50 of them late last year, living in small groups in poor habitats, mostly in central Vietnam's border areas. The population was more than 100 a decade ago.
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