The authorities of the central province of Quang Ngai has uncovered a local resident who keeps a rare white-chested bear at home.
Nguyen Van Han, head of the local Forest Protection Bureau, said that this is a female bear of 65kg, which losses its left leg.
Nguyen Van Thanh, who breeds the bear, said that he bought the rare bare around two years ago, from an ethnic minority hunter in Quang Nam province.
“I bought the bear to raise because it has nice hair and it was wounded. I did not know that it is categorized as endangered animal,” Thanh said.
The local Forest Protection Agency will confiscate the bear to transfer to a wildlife rescue centre.
The white-chested bear is also known as Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus) or moon bear. This is a medium-sized species of bear, largely adapted for arboreal life, which occurs through much of southern Asia, Korea, northeastern China, the Russian Far East and Honshū and Shikoku islands of Japan.
It is classed by the IUCN as a vulnerable species, mostly due to deforestation and active hunting for its body parts.
The species is morphologically very similar to some prehistoric bears, and is thought by some scientists to be the ancestor of other extant bear species.