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There Are Only 20 Indochinese Tigers Left in Vietnam

Vietnam's population of Indochinese tigers is dangerously low, with only around 20 animals left in the wild.

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Experts addressed this issue at a wildlife trafficking prevention workshop held last week by General Department of Vietnam Customs in conjunction with the United States Agency for International Development, reports Vietnam Net.

The gathering, which discussed the current state of the problem in Vietnam, also aimed to amend current laws on wildlife trafficking crimes. In addition to the country's fast-diminishing number of tigers, experts estimated that as few as 100 Asian elephants remained.

Vietnam has grappled with this issue for some time, as wildlife trafficking is a lucrative industry not only in this country but across the region, raking in US$66 million a year in Vietnam. Despite governmental efforts to protect the country's wild animals, poaching is a common occurrence and has resulted in the extinction of some species, most notably the Javan rhino, which became extinct in Vietnam in 2010.

Though steps are being taken to prevent widespread trafficking, the national Forest Ranger Department puts the number of wildlife law violations at around 1,095 each year over the last five years. Nearly 60,000 endangered animals have been seized during that time, thwarting a large number of wildlife trafficking crimes, however experts also estimate that this accounts for less than 20% of all wildlife trafficking cases in the country.

[Top image via Terry Whittaker]

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