Last update 5/17/2011 6:40:43 PM (GMT+7)

Ancient turtle wants to return to Hoan Kiem Lake

VietNamNet Bridge – The legendary turtle has shown signs of unsuitability to the life in the artificial tank. The Hanoi Department of Science and Technology is seeking way to put her back into the lake as soon as possible.

Dr. Bui Quang Te, leader of the turtle treatment team, said that in the recent hot days, the turtle did not eat for three consecutive days.

“I’ve warned that it would be a matter if the temperature is over 30 degree Celsius. The turtle must be brought back to the lake as soon as possible,” Dr. Te emphasized.

Dr. Dang Gia Tung, deputy director of the Hanoi Zoo, also said that the turtle must be released back into the lake early. However, experts should fence a zone in the lake as the home for the turtle. He also worried that the turtle may be tamed after a long time living in an artificial tank, especially the way it is fed.

“I was surprised that they strike fish dead and give dead fish to the turtle,” he said.

Other experts agreed to release the turtle back into the lake as soon as possible, but the turtle must be ensured to not be shocked, hungry or get diseases again.

Le Xuan Rao, director of the Hanoi Department of Science and Technology, said that the treatment has nearly finished, but the Hoan Kiem Lake has not been cleaned up yet to welcome the turtle back.

“Fish have not been released to the lake, so there is no food for the turtle right now,” said Prof. Dang Dinh Kim from the Institute for Environmental Technology.

His research work shows that the projects to dredge the lake in 2009 and 2010, helped eliminate harmful micro-organisms in the surface of the mud layer in Hoan Kiem lake, but this solution is unsustainable.

Many solutions to clean the lake have been suggested, including using bio-products which were used to clean up the lake at the Temple of Literature last year and a German method to dredge mud.

Dr. Leah Wollenberrger from the Dresden University (Germany) said that equipment will be brought to Vietnam in November 2011. The project will be implemented in a year to dredge 50,000 cu.m of mud. Dresden University and some Vietnamese institutes will make observation.

At the same time, sticking chipset to the turtle is a controversy. Tim MacCormark from the Asian Turtle Preservation said that there are two ways to stick chipsets to turtles. For hard-shell turtles, the chipset is often stuck by special glue and for soft-shell turtles; the device is stuck by a belt or through a hole at the turtle’s tale.

Vietnamese scientists did not agree with both ways. Dr. Nguyen Viet Vinh said that if the device is stuck these ways, the Hoan Kiem turtle may be stuck with objects in the lake bed and die.

Many experts say that it is unnecessary to stick chipset to keep track of the turtle.

Director of the Hanoi Department of Science and Technology, Le Xuan Rao said that the department would collect all opinions and report to the Hanoi authorities for final approval.