A critically endangered leatherback sea turtle was released into the sea Tuesday after being netted in the central province of Nghe An last Sunday.
Fishermen in Quynh Luu District caught the leatherback sea turtle last Sunday when it was stuck in their fishing net some 10 nautical miles offshore.
The turtle weighs an estimated 250 kilograms and is 1.5 meters long, they said.
The fishermen planned to sell the endangered sea turtle not knowing it is a protected species, but luckily local authorities had persuaded them to release it back to the sea on Tuesday.
The turtle was in stable condition after two days of being kept in captivity, said Nguyen Chi Luong, chief of Nghe An Province Bureau for Aquatic Resources Protection.
The leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) is the largest of all living sea turtles and can easily be differentiated from other modern sea turtles by its lack of a bony shell.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, five of the planet's seven species of sea turtles are found in Vietnam and are in danger of extinction.
The five species are green sea turtle, hawksbill sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, olive ridley sea turtle and leatherback sea turtle.