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» » Raising eagles a fashion in Saigon

SOCIETY - Keeping eagles – the bird listed as endangered species – has been a new hobby of Saigonees.

Mr. Hai O, a “prestigious” eagle trader in Binh Hung Hoa cemetery area, in Binh Tan District, Ho Chi Minh City, told Tuoi Tre newspaper that in the last three years, he sold hundreds of eagles.

Hai O said the price depends on the shape, health status, characteristics of each eagle. He also said that eagles from the Central Highlands are the favorite, priced at VND7 million ($350)/bird, with a wingspan of 1m.

The man said the price for eagles has rocketed from VND2 million ($100) two years ago to VND7-10 million ($350-500) a bird at present. These birds are then trained of hunting skills or become ornamental birds.

There are many eagle traders in HCM City. A trader named Dung, who usually appears on 3/2 Road in District 10, said that his birds are taken from Lam Dong province. He disclosed that some people cheat their customers by other bird species with similar figure.

Another eagle seller named Du, in Binh Tan district, said that eagles are sold very well and he did not have enough eagles for sales.

Du was born in Cu M'Gar district, Dak Lak province and has been a wildlife trader in HCM City for over ten years. His source of supply mainly comes from the Central Highlands and Cambodia.

According to Du, the reproductive season of eagles is coming (March) but the price for baby birds would not be less than VND4 million ($200). Du often transports eagles in sponge boxes by coaches with other kinds of wild animals like tigers and bears to HCM City.

Another bird trader named Dung from Binh Chanh district, said that his eagles are brought from the Central Highlands and the northern mountainous region.

According to Dung, eagles live in the primeval forest, which have towering mountains. It takes the hunters tens of days to catch an eagle. If they are lucky, they can trap both the parents and baby eagles.

There are tens of eagle traders in Ho Chi Minh City. Due to the growing number of eagle breeders, the source of supply is not enough. There are no statistics about the number of eagles in cages in the city, but raising eagles has become a “fashion.”

Mr. Thai, the owner of a coffee shop on Tran Van Muoi road, Hoc Mon district, breeds an eagle in a very big case. He said any visitor “admires” his hobby.

Mr. Hung, in Tan Phu district, who has just bred an eagle for several months, said: "Going out with an eagle is great. Many people show their admiration to me."

According to some eagle breeders, this “hobby” has developed in the last two years. Some people train their eagles with hunting skills. "Clubs" of eagle breeders have been set up on the Internet or in the real life.

Source: VNN

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