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Discovery of an Asian giant softshell turtle (Pelochelys cantorii) traded in Hue, central Vietnam

At 12h45 on the 17th December 2009, two staff members of Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) discovered a softshell turtle that was kept in a local person's house in Phung Hung Street, Hue City, central Vietnam. From photos the ENV team was able to identify the turtle as an endangered Asian giant soft-shell turtle (Pelochelys cantorii). The species which can grow up to 129cm in length is increasingly rare in Southeast Asia due to over-collection throughout its range.

The owner of the turtle claimed to regularly visit Laos to buy wildlife which he can sell in Vietnam. He said he bought the turtle in Laos for 1,700,000VND ($80.00) and planned to sell it for 2,000,000VND ($95.00).

Although Hue Forest Protection Department (FPD) were called immediately, by the time the rangers visited the trader to investigate the claim, the animal had already disappeared.


Above: The trader holding the Asian giant softshell turtle (Pelochelys cantorii)

Above: The Asian giant softshell turtle (Pelochelys cantorii) kept in Phung Hung Street, Hue city


Thank you:


We would like to thank Education for Nature (ENV) staff and the Forest Protection Department (FPD) rangers of Hue for realizing the importance of this case and trying to take action.

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For more information please contact:

Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Cleveland Metoparks Zoo,
Office: Room#1302, Thanh Cong Tower, 57 Lang Ha Street,
Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam

Tel: +84 (0) 4 3514 9750
Fax: +84 (0) 4 3519 0383




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