Many rare wild animals in the central province of Nghe An’s mountainous areas are being hunted.

The reporter broke into a ring which specialised in rare animal meat in the province.

Pu Mat National Park located in three districts of Anh Son, Con Cuong and Tuong Duong is home to more than 1,000 wild animals. The park is targeted by many local hunters.

Lang, who leads a hunter group in Mon Son Commune, Anh Son District, said, “Earlier, we only hunted animals for food at home, but over recent years; many traders have come to the village to buy meat. A kilo of wild boar is sold at VND200,000 (USD9.52) and a kilo of silky-haired leopard is VND500,000 (USD23.8) and a kilo of white-cheeked gibbon costs VND300,000 (USD14.2). Everyday, dozens of hunters come to the national park.”

He added that, hundreds of wild animals are hunted for sale to lowlanders.

Mr. Hung, an animal trader in Con Cuong District, said the work offers him profits of nearly VND10 million (USD476) per sale. With dead animals, he used ice to freeze them, while, those which are still alive are put in cages to be transported to customers.

“We were arrested many times for wild animal trading, but now we know how to deal with concerned agencies,” Hung said.

Under Hung’s instruction, the reporter went to a restaurant in Quy Hop District to ask for a silky-haired leopard as a gift for his boss. However, the owner said the animal was very rare so he had to book for getting the product tomorrow.

When the reporter asked to buy 10 kilos of different kinds of wild animal meat, the owner also disclosed that fox, porcupine and wild boar and tortoise meat was available and she would freeze the product for him with ice so that he could take it to Vinh City.

Staff also took the reporter to the restaurant abattoir. After being slaughtered, the animals were put into fridges to serve customers gradually. This is the largest restaurant which sells wild animal meat in Quy Hop District.

The mountainous districts of Nghe An also house dozens of such restaurants.

Trans-continental traders

Mr. Ha in Do Luong District is well-known for rare animal trading.

He said that, “Earlier, I bought tortoises, snakes, varans and geckoes to sell them to agents in Vinh City. Gradually, through relationships, I moved to the trading of rare animals.”

Now, he has set up a network of traders who specialise in buying animals for him from the mountainous areas of Nghe An, Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces. After that, Ha will specify different kinds of animals for sale. Monkeys will be sold at glue agents and fox, chamois and some others will be brought to restaurants in big cities.

Rare animals such as of silky-haired leopard, fox and white-cheeked gibbon will be sold to agents in Lang Son for sales to China.

Hung added that he has a three-ha farm in the nearby forest for gathering wild animals.

According to Hung, many people in Nghe An trade animal meat like him. Each local district has 7-8 people who have wide networks of collectors.

Tigers and rhinos have almost exhausted in Vietnamese forests, but if the reporter needs, he can get them quickly, Hung noted.

Hung also said that tigers, rhinos, elephant tusk and tail are mostly illegally transported from Laos and Africa to Vietnam. Nghe An, Hanoi and Ha Tinh have traders specialising in these products. They are trans-continental traders who sell the products to VIP customers so that they can use them for bone paste.

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