Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Rare turtle discovered in Viet Nam

Researchers from the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo have discovered a rare giant turtle in northern Vietnam, giving scientists hope for the species they believed was extinct in the wild. The scientists from the Cleveland Zoo discovered the Swinhoe's soft-shelled turtle when they followed up reports from villagers of a mythical creature living in a lake. Vietnamese legend tells of a huge turtle that helped the country fight off Chinese invaders in the 16th century. "This is one of those mythical species that people always talked about but no one ever saw," said the zoo's curator. Only three other specimens of this turtle are known of by scientists: there are two in Chinese zoos and one in Hoan Kiem Lake in the heart of Hanoi. Scientists refused to provide the name of the lake or other details about the position of this turtle because of concerns the turtle would be illegally hunted. Source: The National Register

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