Following a tiger’s attack on a young student at a breeding farm in the north-central Vietnamese province of Thanh Hoa late last month, the facility has been found operating with an expired permit.
Provincial authorities confirmed on Saturday they were looking into the attack at the tiger breeding facility owned by Le Thi Hong in Xuan Tin Commune, Tho Xuan District.
Le Ngoc Quan, head of the office of the Tho Xuan People’s Committee, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the administration had recently received a report on the incident from Mai Van Khac, a resident of Quang Phu Commune, Tho Xuan.
According to the document, Mai Van Chien, Khac’s 13-year-old son, and his classmates paid a visit to the tiger breeding farm on May 28.
As the students were observing the animals near the fence, one tiger clawed Chien on his right calf, resulting in a serious injury.
The young boy was admitted to the Thanh Hoa General Hospital for emergency treatment before being transferred to the National Institute of Burns in Hanoi.
An examination by competent agencies showed that the tiger snuck one of its front legs through a hole in the fence mesh and attacked Chien.
During an interview with Tuoi Tre, Thieu Van Luc, deputy head of the provincial Forest Protection Department, stated that Hong was granted the permit for her tiger breeding activities on May 22, 2012, which was valid until May 22, 2017.
The venue was originally operated by Nguyen Mau Chien, Hong’s husband, Luc said, adding that the management was later transferred to Hong.
Chien’s records showed that he had been arrested for illegally trading wild animals on May 10, and previously caught storing multiple wildlife parts without legitimate origin.
“Hong’s farm houses 11 tigers with an average weight of 100 kilograms,” the official said. “Competent authorities are discussing whether to renew the permit of the facility.”
Regarding the attack, owners of the breeding farm are responsible for taking care of the young boy, he added.
According to the observation of Tuoi Tre reporters, the venue covers an area of over three hectares, divided into four sections, all of which are protected with iron railing and fence mesh.
Nguyen Ngoc Vui, a caretaker, claimed that the facility is too large so it was hard to pay attention to the young students.
In late September 2016, Luong Van Hai, 40, an employee at a tiger breeding farm in the southern province of Binh Duong, was killed while taking care of one of the big cats.