Nov 14, 2012 4:00 PM by Lauren Molenburg

Vietnam may evict bears from 'protected' park land

TAM DAO, Vietnam (AP) - Bears rescued from Asia's bear bile trade are enjoying life in a lush Vietnamese national park, but they may need saving once more.

The future of the bears' sanctuary has been in doubt since July, when Vietnam's vice defense minister ordered it to find another location. He says the valley is of strategic military interest, but environmentalists allege that greed is the real reason the center is being targeted. They point to documents that show the daughter of the park's director is involved in an ecotourism venture that wants to lease park land.

Conservation groups say the dispute in Tam Dao National Park is emblematic of a larger conflict raging across Vietnam's protected lands. When developers want the land, they say, the protections disappear.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)



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