Authorities, concerned that the bears are being slaughtered for parts for use in traditional medicine have also ordered that TV cameras cover their burial – as interest in the case continues to grow in Vietnam.
Animals Asia's Vietnam Director Tuan Bendixsen said:
"The eyes of the country are now on Quang Ninh province and the relevant authorities to see that right course of action is taken. We cannot be sure of the exact details surrounding the bears' deaths but we can say the farmer chose to let them die. We offered to treat the animals and the offer was rejected. It was the farmer who took the decision to let the animals die. It was a conscious choice. We can only speculate as to his motives."
The Central Forest Protection Department (FPD) has informed Animals Asia that it is urgently requesting the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) form an investigation team.
The team, expected to include representatives from Central FPD, CITES and MARD's Nature Conservation Department, would travel to Quang Ninh province to investigate the exact causes of death, whether the correct procedures were followed to dispose of the bodies and to ascertain how the remaining bears can be saved.