Vietnam police seize large amount of animal bones
Police in Vietnam's capital seized hundreds of pounds of bones from endangered tigers and other animals in raids targeting suspected poachers who hunt animals for traditional medicines, state media reported Friday.
Five people were stopped by Hanoi police as they transported tiger bones in their cars, and officers later raided a house Wednesday where more bones were found.
Police discovered eight full tiger skeletons, 134 tiger kneecaps, and six tiger skulls. Also confiscated were 815 pounds (370 kilograms) of panther bones, as well as bones of other wild cats, chamois and monkeys, the Labor newspaper reported.
It was unclear where the animals came from and why they were captured. The report did not say how the animals died. Police were not immediately available for comment Friday.
Poachers in Vietnam are known to use animal bones to make expensive traditional medicines that are believed to cure many illnesses.
Vietnam's tiger population has decreased dramatically since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 because of shrinking natural habitat and poaching.
Only about 100 tigers remain along Vietnam's borders with Laos and Cambodia, down from thousands before the end of the war, according to the Forestry Department. It is illegal to hunt or trade them.