A man from Nghe An Province, north-central Vietnam has been sentenced to seven years in prison for illegally raising 14 tigers he claimed to have bought from Laos last year.
The provincial People’s Committee on Thursday imposed a seven-year jail term on Nguyen Van Hien, 40, for violating regulations on the protection of endangered, precious, and rare animals, a source from the Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) confirmed.
On August 4, 2021, police in Nghe An Province inspected Hien’s home in Do Thanh Town, Yen Thanh District and discovered 14 tigers, each weighing nearly 200 kilograms, which were kept inside cages at the basement of the house.
Officers also found three tigers that were raised illegally at another house in Do Thanh Town that day.
The illegal activities were hard to detect as the tigers were kept in a closed and separate section of these houses.
At the police station, Hien said he had sourced the tigers from Laos when they were still cubs.
Following the detection, the 17 tigers were transported to an ecological area for temporary care and assessment and to facilitate the investigation.
However, nine of them later died of unknown reasons, while the remaining eight are still in good health.
Authorities in Nghe An are completing necessary procedures to hand over the eight tigers to a zoo in Hanoi.
Tigers and many other wild animals are strictly banned from being traded in, imported to or exported from Vietnam as they are on the list of endangered wildlife protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), to which the country has been party since 1994.
As some people believe that tiger-derived products can cure bone and joint illnesses, tigers are in demand in Vietnam for their meat, bones, and skin.