Vietnam releases sacred turtle in good health

July 14, 2011

(AP) -- 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 Tuesday after being treated for .

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 (169 kilograms). 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.

Explore further: Testing begins to save legendary Vietnam turtle

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