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Vietnam police seize three dead tigers

29 may 2012, 18:56
Photo courtesy of zamaanonline.com
Photo courtesy of zamaanonline.com
Vietnamese police said Tuesday they had seized three tiger carcasses after being shot at by smugglers who were transporting the dead animals to Hanoi, AFP reports.

"We arrested the driver of the car but his accomplice fled after shooting at us," said Tran Huu Hong, head of the environmental police office in central Nghe An province, where the tigers were seized on Monday.

"We will examine the carcasses of the three tigers to determine their origin," he told AFP, adding the vehicle was on its way to the Vietnamese capital when it was stopped.

There are fewer than 50 tigers living wild in remote forests across Vietnam and the population is in danger of being wiped out by hunters and traffickers.

In addition, there are some 112 tigers in captivity, according to official statistics.

Worldwide, as few as 3,200 of the big cats remain in the wild as they are hunted down for their fur, bones and other parts which are used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Without greater protection the tiger could be extinct within 10 years, according to a 2010 prediction by wildlife group WWF.

Vietnam's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is drafting a new national tiger conservation programme.

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