Frozen tiger, bones seized in Vietnam: monitors

Frozen tiger, bones seized in Vietnam: monitors

(AFP) – July 20, 2009

HANOI — A frozen young tiger and several kilograms of tiger bones have been seized by police in Vietnam, where only about 50 of the animals remain, an environmental group said in a statement received Monday.

Hanoi’s environmental police found the frozen tiger, weighing 57 kilograms (125 pounds), in the boot of a “suspicious” taxi they stopped in the capital early last Thursday, the TRAFFIC wildlife trade monitoring network said.

They also found 11 kilograms of limb bones believed to come from two tigers, it said.

Environmental police believe the tiger had been transported from central Vietnam but it is not yet known whether it was a native big cat or whether it was wild or captive, said TRAFFIC.

The tiger seizure is the third in Hanoi this year after six tiger skins were found at a store in January and 23 kilograms of frozen tiger parts were recovered the following month, TRAFFIC said.

“These seizures show us just how serious the threat to Asia’s remaining wild tigers is,” said Nguyen Dao Ngoc Van, of TRAFFIC’s Hanoi office.

Vietnam is a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which lists tigers as a protected and endangered species.

Tigers are threatened by the loss of natural habitat from Asia’s rapid urbanisation, and are also hunted for fur and body parts used in traditional Chinese medicine.

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