Illegal wildlife traders tried to stop a police chase by throwing two tigers out of the back of the truck they were travelling in. The two Indochinese tigers were drugged at the time.
The chase began on the evening of June 13th when traffic police became suspicious of a truck in Nghe An Province in Vietnam. The truck had no number plates on and so the officers ordered the truck to stop. When it failed to stop the police gave chase and during the pursuit the traders dumped the tigers weighting 90kg and 75kg into the path of the police car to stop it.
The animals were taken to the Pu Mat National Park and the police are currently looking for the poachers or traders.
The Indochinese tiger is officially classed as an endangered species on the IUCN Red list though many believe that because of recent declines it should now be classed as critically endangered. Current estimates put the number of Indochinese tigers at approx. 350 in the wild.
If the two tigers are discovered to be wild caught animals then the two tigers would represent 10% of Vietnam’s estimated tiger population of 20. The population size is just as estimate and may now be much fewer. A study of the Indochinese tiger population in 2010 by Watson et al revealed that no camera trap footage of Indochinese tigers had been taken since 1997.
Photo credit: One of the tigers thrown at police during chase credit: Tuoi Tre