Eight tigers out of 17 that police seized from two farms in a central province of Vietnam have died after being transported to an eco-tourist site, state media said on Friday.
“Eight tigers have died after being injected with anesthetic, transported, and placed into care,’’ Tien Phong newspaper reported, quoting Senior Lieutenant Colonel Tran Phuc Thinh, chief of Nghe An province’s Environment Police Department.
On Wednesday, police entered two farms in Nghe An province and seized 17 tigers that had been bred in small metal cages.
Nguyen Van Hien, one of the tigers’ owners, told police he bought them as cubs in Laos and raised them in his farm.
Local authorities sedated the tigers before transporting them on trucks to Muong Thanh Eco-tourism Site, where they later died.
For many years, both Nghe An province and neighbouring Ha Tinh province had been known as major hotspots for animal trafficking, especially in tigers.
On Sunday, Nghe An Province police also arrested two men from Ha Tinh province after catching them transporting seven live tiger cubs to Nghe An.
The suspect said an unidentified Laotian trafficker had paid them to transport the cubs to Nghe An province.
The cubs were handed over to Pu Mat National Park Rescue Centre.
Tiger-bone paste was a valued ingredient in Vietnamese and Chinese traditional medicine.
A kilogram of pure tiger-bone paste can sell for up to 5,000 dollars on the black market. (dpa/NAN)