Việt Nam hands over rhino horn DNA samples to South Africa

Update: June, 01/2021 - 17:23



Việt Nam CITES Management Authority presented rhino horn DNA samples to South African embassy representative on Tuesday. — Photo from Việt Nam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST)


HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam CITES Management Authority and the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources handed over 56 rhino horn DNA samples to the South African Embassy in Việt Nam on Tuesday.

This is the fifth time Việt Nam has handed over such samples to South Africa, which were seized by local authorities in illegal wildlife trafficking cases.

Phạm Văn Điển, deputy head of the Việt Nam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST), said the sample handover is part of Việt Nam’s implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), including Resolution Conf.9.14 (Rev. CoP15) on the Conservation of and trade in African and Asian rhinoceroses.

It also shows the close co-operation between Việt Nam and South Africa in fighting illegal wildlife trafficking, he said.

South African Ambassador to Vietnam Mpetjane Kgaogelo Lekgoro said the handing over of the rhino horn samples to the CITES Management Authority of South Africa is a practical manifestation of the commitment of the two countries to fighting wildlife trafficking and also contributes to protecting the animal.

The rhino horn DNA samples are expected to help agencies determine their origin and identify those responsible for poaching and illegally trafficking the wildlife.

Việt Nam has uncovered many wildlife trafficking cases in recent years, including two in 2020. On December 22, authorities at the Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport in HCM City seized 93kg of rhino horn, while authorities at Vân Đồn International Airport in Quảng Ninh Province confiscated 7.8kg on December 12.

In related news, the Centre for Rescue, Conservation and Development of Wild Animals of the Bù Gia Mập National Park in the southern province of Bình Phước recently worked with forest rangers to return four rare animals to nature.

The released animals, including two long-tailed macaques, a wildcat, and a pygmy slow loris, were handed over to the centre by local people in early 2021. They had been taken care of in a semi-wild environment for between four and five months.

After the release, the centre will continue to keep a close watch on the animals’ adaptation to their new living environment for 15 days.

The pygmy slow loris is listed in the IB group of endangered and critically endangered animals, according to the Government’s Decree No 6/2019/ND-CP issued on January 22, 2019.

The wildcat and long-tailed macaque, meanwhile, belong to Group IIB of rare and endangered animals restricted from being held in captivity, hunted and used for commercial purposes. — VNS