Encouraged by profits, restaurant owners are hunting for precious wildlife and serving dishes made from animals listed in the Red Book.
The image sent by a restaurant owner to reporters
Despite the ban on trading wildlife, restaurants are still selling dishes made of wild birds and animals. The restaurants are well known to people, and are reportedly known to the police and state management agencies.
Nguoi Lao dong’s reporters managed to contact Long, 49, a taxi motorbike driver at the Thanh Hoa farm produce market in Thanh Hoa district of Long An province.
Long is one of 10 drivers who specialize in carrying wild birds and animals from the market to restaurants in HCMC.
Long said he has four shipments to HCMC a week. He also told reporters, who acted as buyers, to call him if they wanted to buy pangolins, mink and snake in from sanctuaries, or come to the market and contact Hung, Ba, and Tu. The three men have supplies from Vietnam and Cambodia.
From Long, reporters got the mobile phone number of Khang, the manager of a restaurant in district 1, HCMC. Khang said on the phone that he has weasel, porcupine and black coot available, while the supply of pangolin has been interrupted for half a month.
Just some minutes later, Khang sent images of wild animals to reporters’ phones.
N is not the only restaurant that serves wildlife meat in HCMC. The other well known names include ones in district 3, 1, 7 and 3. However, only loyal clients or special guests can order dishes made of rare and precious animals.
Along Highway No 1, in Hau Giang province, there are two well known markets that sell fresh wildlife, including the Nga Bay snake market and the wild bird market in Cai Tac Town.
In the markets, some products are displayed in open air, while rare and precious animals are hidden and will be shown to clients after they accept the prices.
B.R Restaurant on Nguyen Thi Dinh street is the most ‘famous’ in Buon Ma Thuot City of Dak Lak province. The woman at the restaurant said she only sells real wildlife meat, and if clients want live animals, they should arrive 30 minutes early to see how the animals are slaughtered.
“If your group has 20 members, you should order one 3 kilogram of weasel, with which we can prepare three dishes, and one 3 kilogram cobra,” she said.
“If you want something more precious, you could order pangolin, VND4 million per kilogram. This is only affordable for the rich,” she said.
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