Four Hoan Kiem turtles (Rafetus swinhoei), once native to eponymous Sword Lake in Hanoi, are thought to be the last of their species in the world.
|File photo of a Hoan Kiem turtle in Hanoi. (Photo: Tien Phong)|
Hoang Van Ha, a researcher from the Asian Turtle Conservation Program, said that two of the turtles remain wild in Hanoi’s Sword Lake and Dong Mo Lake, while the other two are in China where researchers are trying to breed them.
In 2008-2009, scientists at China’s Suzhou Zoo successfully bred the turtles twice, resulting in a total of 200 eggs produced. However, none of the eggs hatched.
Twenty-five species of turtle are in danger of extinction around the world. Vietnam is home to three of the species, including the Hoan Kiem turtle; a type of pond turtle found in the central region; and three-line box turtles.