Last update 4/19/2011 12:00:00 PM (GMT+7)

Hoan Kiem turtle has to wait for a clean lake

VietNamNet Bridge – The legendary turtle in Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem lake is now healthy and it can return to the natural environment. However, Hoan Kiem lake is still polluted.


Hoan Kiem turtle moved to “sanatorium”

Many people see two Hoan Kiem turtles

Hoan Kiem turtle fished out for treatment

The death of the giant turtle in Ngoc Son Temple

The origin of Hanoi’s legendary turtle


Dr. Bui Quang Te, chief of the turtle treatment group, said that the turtle cannot return to its natural environment right now because the lake is not cleaned yet. However, if the turtle lives in cage for a long time, its skills to live naturally may be affected.


Te said the latest tests of Hoan Kiem lake’s water showed that the water contained a lot of bacteria, fungi, toxic algae, etc.


“Putting the turtle back into the lake when the water is still polluted, means that the treatment for the Hoan Kiem turtle will become useless. We have asked the Hanoi authorities to urgently clean the lake,” Te said.


The turtle can return to its natural environment in two-three weeks. However, just a small area of Hoan Kiem Lake has been cleaned and it is scheduled to finish the job in 2-3 months.


Experts say that 2-3 months is a long time and it can harm wild animal habits.


Dr. Nguyen Viet Vinh, a member of the turtle treatment group, said that if the legendary turtle lives in the cage for a long time, it would be familiar to the cage and to the food supplied by man. The turtle is highly possible tamed.


“The most important task right now is cleaning the Hoan Kiem Lake,” Dr. Vinh emphasized.


“Though the turtle lives in the clean tank, it still lacks natural substances in mud, which can make new diseases for the turtle. In addition, the turtle can be shocked when it returns to the natural environment,” Vinh added.


Experts also worried that the “sanatorium” for the turtle is made by steel while the summer is coming. “The temperature in the steel tank will increase highly and it is dangerous for the turtle,” Vinh said.


The treatment group proposed to build a roof for the sanatorium but it is not enough to ensure the coolness inside the tank in the hot summer.


Prof. Dang Huy Huynh, Chair of the Vietnam Zoology Association, said that the turtle cannot live for a long time on land. He proposed to speed up the cleaning of Hoan Kiem Lake and to prevent waste water from restaurants located around the lake.


Dr. Te said that Hoan Kiem lake should be cleaned by biological methods to facilitate the development of fish, as natural food for the turtle.


“When we netted the turtle early this month, we didn’t catch any fish. It proved that the lake was seriously polluted and the source of fish for the turtle was in shortage,” Te said.