VietNamNet Bridge - The Wildlife At Risk (WAR) and HCM City Forest
Protection Department has opened a wildlife rescue centre to fight against
the illegal trade in endangered animals.
Cu Chi Rescue Centre is the first multi-species wildlife hospital and
holding facility in southern Vietnam. Its main purpose is to help FPD staff
enforce the law against the killing and capturing of endangered wildlife by
providing accommodations and care for animals confiscated from illegal
The centre has an environmental awareness facility designed to educate the
public on the importance of conserving wildlife.
The facility features educational displays and information about the
country's biodiversity, threats posed by the illegal wildlife trade and the
vital role of the rescue centre in helping FPD enforce the law.
The main objectives are to raise awareness of Vietnam's unique natural
heritage, particularly among the younger generation, highlight the plight of
the country's beleaguered wildlife, generate support for the work at the
rescue centre and encourage more people to take an active role in
WAR hopes that the displays will help to change traditional attitudes
towards wildlife in Vietnam so that it is viewed as a long-term national
asset, rather than a disposable commodity.
Officials hope the facility will attract a variety of visitors including
local residents, Vietnamese and foreign tourists, biology students and
The centre became operational late last year. An official opening ceremony
will be held on 17th August 2007. After the ceremony, the awareness building
and the less sensitive areas of the rescue centre will open to the public.
Wildlife currently held at the centre includes sun bears, several primates,
monitor lizards, water dragons, pythons and a wide variety of turtle
Buying and selling wild animals is big business, not only in Vietnam and
other countries in Asia, but throughout the world.
The illegal wildlife trade in Asia has reached an extreme. Wild animals are
being hunted, killed or captured on a massive scale in order to satisfy the
enormous demand for exotic meat, animal skins and traditional medicine that
use wildlife ingredients, and to supply the international pet trade.
Some of these animals are dangerously close to extinction. Others are
becoming increasingly rare. If the slaughter continues at the present rate,
Vietnam's forests, rivers and seas will soon be empty, according to a WAR
The centre also aims to promote high standards in animal husbandry.
(Source: Viet Nam News)