The giant turtle of the Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, venerated as a symbol of Vietnam’s independence has reportedly died.
It occupies a key mythological role in Vietnam and it was the rarest species on the planet. In the past the turtle generally surfaced only rarely, with its sightings deemed auspicious. Hanoi’s authorities have decided to keep the turtle at a local museum for long-term research and preservation purposes. The turtle, which is believed to be hundreds of years old, is famous for its rareness and its connection to the legend about Hoan Kiem Lake.
The turtle is one of only four of the Hoan Kiem lake turtle species in the world, including one in Hoan Kiem Lake and Dong Mo Lake in Hanoi and the remaining two in China.