Decision made on the preservation technique for the Hoan Kiem Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei)

Hoan Kiem turtle was photographed in July, 2015 Photo by: Nguyen Tai Thang - ATP

According to Pr. Ha Dinh Duc, the authority of the capital of Hanoi, Vietnam have made the final decision on the method of preservation for the body of the Hoan Kiem turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) which passed away on the 19th of January 2016. The technique to be used is PLASTINATION. [According to Wikipedia, Plastination is a technique or process used in anatomy to preserve bodies or body parts, first developed by Gunther von Hagens in 1977. The water and fat are replaced by certain plastics, yielding specimens that can be touched, do not smell or decay, and even retain most properties of the original sample.] Dr. Phan Ke Long, Vice Director of Vietnam National Museum of Nature, said ‘Plastination is the most modern technique used to preserve bodies or body parts’.

Dr. Nguyen Xuan Lam of Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources highlighted the bigger advantages of plastination compared to wet preservation and dry preservation. However, Plastination has never been applied in Vietnam and there are no Vietnamese experts on this approach. At the end of April, two German experts will come to Vietnam to consult and guide the preserving of Hoan Kiem turtle body. The process will take at least 12 months.


DATE: 23rd March 2016

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