An expensive and destructive hobby

Published: 30/06/2011 03:16


Though the law bans the trade and use of wildlife products, some rich people collect these products to prove their wealth and status.

Playing the role of a rich man who is seeking unique products, a VietNamNet reporter got acquainted with a man named Hien in HCM City who sells stuffed wild animals. He showed the reporter stuffed squirrels, iguanas, wild cats, monkeys, gibbons, langurs, and more.

The reporter said he would like to buy stuffed animals such as panther and gayals. Hien said he had all of these stuffed animals but that clients must pay a deposit to see the goods in Dak Lak.

Hien said he bought wild animals from hunters in the Central Highlands for stuffing to sell to rich men in HCM City who collect stuffed wild animals.

“Stuffed langur costs several millions of dong. Stuffed panthers are more expensive. If you are a businessman, you should have some stuffed wild animals in your house,” Hien said.

HCM City police recently found four water-rats and two South American iguanas in a house in District 11, HCM City. The house owner, Tam, confessed that he bought wild animals to sell to some people who raise wild animals as pets in HCM City.

Nguyen Vu Khoi, executive director of the WWF Vietnam, said that the water rat is a rare animal listed in the Vietnam Red Book but many people in HCM City raise them as pets.

Khoi said that so far this year, the Wildlife Rescue Center in Cu Chi district, HCM City, has received four water rats, one iguana, one loris and one wild cat. Of these, water rat, iguana and loris are named in the Red Book.

“These animals were voluntarily handed over by HCM City residents after raising them as pets for a period of time. It shows that the people have better awareness of the law on wildlife preservation,” Khoi commented.

Last year, HCM City police rescued two gibbons from a villa in District 6. A businessman in District 2 voluntarily handed over two gibbons that he had raised for ten years.

Le Thanh Liem, an official from the HCM City Forest Protection Bureau, told VietNamNet many wild animals are caged in HCM City but they have not been detected and rescued yet.


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