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Tiger, Bear Found in Vietman Trunk

July 25, 1998

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) _ Forestry officers checking the trunk of a taxi found a tiger and a bear that the cab’s passengers apparently were trying to smuggle from forests in central Vietnam, a local official said today.

Both animals had been wounded when they were trapped. The bear died an hour later; the tiger was being treated and was to be released back into the forest, said Ho Van Phuoc, deputy chief of the Phong Dien forest control bureau in Thua Thien Hue province.

Phuoc said the taxi was heading to Hue city from the Phong Dien district when forestry officials pulled it over. The four passengers fled in the dark when they were asked to open the trunk.

Inside, the officers found the 44-pound tiger and 143-pound bear in two iron baskets.

Phuoc said the Phong Dien forests are home to many precious wild animals. Hunting and trading of such animals is common in Vietnam, where some are served at restaurants and others are used in traditional medicine.

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