Seven Frozen Tiger Cubs Found Dead Inside a Car in Vietnam, Smuggled for Consumption in China

By Venus Upadhayaya, Epoch Times
July 30, 2019 Updated: July 30, 2019

Seven tiger cubs were found frozen to death inside a car in a parking lot in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, reported the Vietnamese state media on July 26.

On Thursday, the authorities arrested Nguyen Huu Hue and two other suspects who had allegedly smuggled the seven dead tigers from the neighboring country of Laos, reported the AFP.

The dead animals were found in their car at a parking lot.

“Hue set up a company… which sells building material as a cover for the illegal trading of tigers and wildlife,” Cong An Nhan Dan, the official mouthpiece of the Ministry of Public Security, reported, according to AFP.

It’s yet not known if the cubs were smuggled from the wild or were sourced from the illegal tiger farms in Laos.

AFP reports that the cubs were meant for local consumption and some were to be smuggled to China.

Consumption of Tigers in Vietnam and China

According to the National Geographic currently, there are about 4,000 wild tigers in the world, but there are over 8,000 tigers in various tiger farms in China, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam.

“Although there are occasions where tigers are killed opportunistically or in retaliation for loss of livestock, the vast majority are poached to fuel demand for products consumed in Asian markets.” That statement came from TRAFFIC—a non-governmental organization that works on global trade in wild animals and plants in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

Most of these tigers are supplied for consumption in China and Vietnam, where they are mostly used for making wine or traditional medicines.

Tiger bone paste is traditional medicine in Vietnam. This paste is made by boiling the tiger bones along with the bones of a few other animals for seven days. This paste is then dried into bricks and sold. Seven tiger cubs were found frozen to death inside a car in a parking lot in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, reported the Vietnamese state media on July 26.

On Thursday, the authorities arrested Nguyen Huu Hue and two other suspects who had allegedly smuggled the seven dead tigers from the neighboring country of Laos, reported the AFP.

The dead animals were found in their car at a parking lot.

“Hue set up a company… which sells building material as a cover for the illegal trading of tigers and wildlife,” Cong An Nhan Dan, the official mouthpiece of the Ministry of Public Security, reported, according to AFP.

Two suspected wildlife smugglers are pictured standing next to their car, along with two plastic crates (R) containing four tiger cubs and endangered pangolins (front L,) at a police station in the central province of Ha Tinh on September 4, 2012. (STR/AFP/GettyImages)

Bits of it are mixed into wine and consumed, according to National Geography.

It’s a status symbol in these countries to wear or consume tiger products. According to the Environmental Investigation Agency, (EIA), the buyers of tiger products in China include military, officials, and business people.

“Transnational organized criminal networks continue to profit from the demand for tiger parts and derivatives, primarily in China.

Financing poaching and fuelling corruption, these networks persist in the face of enforcement efforts in some of the source and transit countries. There is a lack of intelligence-led enforcement and cooperation from China,” said EIA.

In June 2016, a raid on Thailand’s controversial Tiger Temple found 137 live tigers, frozen dead bodies of 40 tiger cubs in freezers and 30 cubs preserved in jars, according to the WWF. 

Investigators also found 1000 amulets made from tiger skin during the crackdown.

Illegal wildlife crime globally is worth £15 billion annually and is often orchestrated by highly organized, transnational criminal networks.

“As human development continues to accelerate globally, the unsustainable exploitation of vulnerable animal and plant species is putting unprecedented pressure on our planet’s wildlife,” said EIA.

Follow Venus on Twitter: @venusupadhayaya
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