'Mythical' Giant Turtle Found in Vietnam

Animal, thought to be extinct, is the stuff of legend
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2008 10:29 AM CDT
This 2004 photo provided by the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo shows a rare Swinhoe's soft-shell turtle in Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi, Vietnam.    (AP Photo/Cleveland Metroparks Zoo)
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(Newser) – A giant turtle thought to be extinct has been found in northern Vietnam, the AP reports. Scientists from the Cleveland Zoo discovered the Swinhoe's soft-shelled turtle when they followed up reports from villagers of a mythical creature living in a lake. Vietnamese legend tells of a huge turtle that helped the country fight off Chinese invaders in the 16th century.

"This is one of those mythical species that people always talked about but no one ever saw," said the zoo's curator.