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    Rare Turtle Returned to Sea After Escaping Dining Table in Vietnam

    © AFP 2019 / EVARISTO SA
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    A critically endangered sea turtle almost ended up on a dining table in central Vietnam had it not been for a vigilant restaurant owner who noticed it and informed authorities, Vietnamese newspaper VnExpress reported on Wednesday.

    Nguyen Van Phuong, a restaurant owner from Ha Tinh Province, said a local fisherman sold him the seven-kilo turtle the previous day for VND 1.5 million ($67). He was preparing to butcher it to serve his customers when he noticed it was a strange color and informed animal control, the report said.

    It turned out to be a hawksbill turtle, which is an endangered species and so on Tuesday Phuong and local officials released it back into the ocean.

    According to the newspaper, last month, fishermen from nearby Quang Nam Province also released a hawksbill turtle back into the sea after finding it trapped offshore in a discarded fishing net.

     Hawksbill turtle
    © AFP 2019 / ROMEO GACAD
    Hawksbill turtle

    The World Conservation Union classifies hawksbill turtles as critically endangered. Fishing has reduced the population of the species and driven it to the brink of extinction.
    The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species outlaws the capture and trade of hawksbill turtles and products derived from them.

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    Tags:
    turtle, fishing, endangered species, ecology, animals, Vietnam
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