Vietnam finally nets legendary turtle for treatment

By REUTERS
April 3, 2011 16:52

HANOI - Experts in Hanoi captured a legendary giant turtle for medical treatment on Sunday, a milestone in a case that has grabbed national attention and cast a spotlight on environmental degradation in Vietnam.

Several dozen people including special forces soldiers swam and used boats to pull three rings of nets around the rare beast the size of a car door with a head as big as a human's, in Hoan Kiem Lake in the heart of the Vietnamese capital.

In recent months the turtle has surfaced almost twice as frequently as in previous years, according to state-run media, and what appear to be pink sores have been photographed on its shell, neck and feet, raising alarm.

Experts believe the turtle, weighing some 440 lb, may be suffering the effects of pollution, snaggings by fish hooks, attacks from smaller red ear turtles that have proliferated in the lake, or all three.


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