POSTED: 04:57 a.m. HST, Jul 13, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 05:08 a.m. HST, Jul 13, 2011
HANOI, Vietnam >> State media say a rare giant turtle considered sacred in Vietnam has been released back into a Hanoi lake.
Online newspaper VnExpress quoted the director of Hanoi’s science and technology department, Le Xuan Rao, as saying the turtle returned to the cleaned-up Hoan Kiem lake Tuesday after being treated for skin lesions.
In April, the turtle was removed from the lake and put into a holding tank for treatment after photos showed injuries on its legs and neck.
The giant female turtle has a shell size of a desk and weighs 370 pounds. It is one of four known living Rafetus swinhoei species.
Many Vietnamese believe it is the same mythical creature said to have helped King Le Loi fend off the Chinese nearly six centuries ago.