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'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
'Mythical' Giant Turtle Found in Vietnam
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)

(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.

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

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