3,696 km run to protect tigers, rhinos, bears, and turtles from the wildlife traditional medicine trade

Hanoi, November 6, 2022 – Yesterday, Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV), in collaboration with event organizers, Sporting Republic, hosted the 7th Hanoi Half Marathon “Run for Wildlife” at Ciputra Hanoi International City. This event was specifically aimed at encouraging the public not to consume traditional medicines (TM) made from wild animal parts.

This year, there were over 358 runners in participation, comprising 25 nationalities, including groups from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, WWF-Vietnam, fellow NGOs, and corporate supporters. Between them, a total of 3,696 km was run through the streets of Ciputra Hanoi International City.

TM made from wildlife such as bear bile, tiger bone glue, turtle shell, and rhino horn has been widely used in Vietnam, China, and other Asian countries for centuries. This practice ultimately has caused large-scale illegal hunting and trade of these species across the globe to meet increasing demand for their parts and products in recent decades, pushing many of these species to the verge of extinction. “We live in a modern world; we should use science-based medicine,” says Mrs. Nguyen Phuong Dung, Vice Director of ENV. “We need to stop using traditional medicine made from wildlife, for the sake of our own health and for the health of the environment we all share,” continued Mrs. Dung.

Every day, thousands of endangered species are hunted and sold to meet traditional medicine demand. This includes hundreds of rhinos slaughtered for their horns each year, hundreds of bears being kept captive for their bile, thousands of turtles killed for their shells and meat each year, and tigers being hunted and farmed to make tiger bone glue, which is likely the cause of them being functionally extinct in Vietnam today. “We really appreciate the participation from all the runners and the media, who have helped to amplify our message to millions of people across the country,” say Mrs. Dung.

“As long-term partners of ENV, it’s great to once again see our event play a role in aiding wildlife conservation in Vietnam. Everyone should do their part to stamp out the use of wildlife in traditional medicine, and Sporting Republic are honored to be part of ENV’s efforts to raise the public’s awareness on this important issue,” says David Shin, of race organizers Sporting Republic.

This year’s Run for Wildlife has contributed to a much broader campaign to change perception and use of wildlife TM in Vietnam, generously supported by the U.S. State Department and Humane Society International of Australia.

ENV also extends our thanks to Sporting Republic, Ciputra Hanoi International City, and their partners for their hard work organizing this event and elevating this important issue in the fight to protect wildlife, as well as providing vital support towards ENV’s programs.