Hanoi - Authorities in southern Vietnam have discovered the body of an endangered Indian bison, one of only 20 believed to be in the area, state media reported on Thursday.

The animal, discovered in Binh Phuoc province on Sunday, was thought to have been caught in an illegal trap, newspaper Viet Nam News reported.

With only around 100 known to remain alive in Vietnam, the bison, known as Bos gaurus, is one of the most endangered animals in the country. It is hunted for its meat and gall bladder, which is used in traditional medicine.

The species is found across South-East Asia as well as India and China. The global population is thought to number 13,000 to 30,000 animals.

It is classed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's red list of threatened species. - Sapa-dpa