Traffic police in central Thanh Hóa Province found a frozen tiger weighing 180kg in an ambulance travelling on HCM Trail in the Thach Thành District, Viet Nam News reported.
Police tried to stop a private ambulance after seeing it flout traffic rules. The driver and another man allegedly left the ambulance and ran towards the Cúc Phuong National Park.
Upon searching the ambulance, the police found the frozen tiger in a bag. The case is being investigated.
Late last month, five frozen tigers were discovered in a Vietnamese man’s freezer with their organs removed in the central Nghệ An Province.
According to the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF), in 2011, Viet Nam had 30 wild tigers, but currently only five tigers remain in the wild.
In Viet Nam, the tiger is listed as an endangered species; hunting or trading is prohibited. Violators can face fines or criminal penalties depending on the severity of the violation.
Tiger organs and bones are used for medicinal purposes. Tiger bones are commonly boiled and mixed with rice wine in Viet Nam, a mixture believed to treat arthritis and increase strength.
According to a report by TRAFFIC, Viet Nam has become an increasingly significant hub for tiger trafficking and home to a growing number of tiger farms: close to 40% of the country’s reported seizures came from captive facilities.
Recent estimates claim there are more than 7,000 tigers held in captive farms domiciled in China, Laos, Thailand and Viet Nam.