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National Animal

Water Buffalo

“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated”.

Mahatma Gandhi

Animals commonly seen in the wild

Marine fauna:

Sea stars, whale sharks, turtles, flying squids, porpoises, dolphins, dugongs.


Hornbills, partridges, pheasants, herons, woodpeckers, magpies, babblers.

Land mammals:

Monkeys, sun bears, water buffalos, gibbons, squirrels, bats, macaques, langurs.

Snakes and insects:

Monitor lizards, Burmese pythons, crocodiles, vipers, tortoises, mosquitoes, spiders.

Common sights you will not like

In the city and
on the road

In markets, chickens, fish and other sea foods (i.e. shrimp, mussel, eels) are kept alive and killed upon order. Stray dogs and cats can be seen on the streets.

In the

Water buffaloes are used in agricultural purposes, and are tied up for long hours while "resting".

General animal welfare issues

Some locals in both cities and countryside eat dog meat. Some also eat cats and horses. In the local culture animal parts are said to have medicinal uses.

Certain animals meat /bones such as tigers, lizards or cobras are considered to have valuable traditional medicinal properties.

Hunting or poaching:

Wildlife is protected under the international (CITES) and national laws of Vietnam. Wildlife trade and illegal smuggling is rampant in Vietnam. Species such as monkeys, rhinoceroses and turtles have become endangered due to poaching.

Animal fights:

Buffalo fights are traditional occurrence in Vietnam. Festivals of buffalo fighting can be found around the country.

Main organization for animal rescue and sheltering:

Wildlife at Risk VAC ARC Pet Rescue

Sanctuaries to visit or volunteer:

Tam Dao Rescue Centre

We have not included the treatment of animals in the meat/fur/leather industries, zoos or circuses, animal testing as it unfortunately still happens in most countries.

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