A sea lion found in central Vietnam in August has died after two months in the pond of a local fisherman, he said Monday.
Nguyen Van Dien from Quang Binh Province had been authorized to take care of the animal for 20 days after he spotted it sunbathing in the area, so that provincial authorities could find a suitable home.
But Dien said no official ever visited his home or sent him any financial support after the time period as promised, news website VnExpress reported.
The fisherman has been raising the aquatic mammal in a fish pond and fed it with two to three kilograms of sea fish a day.
After Dien found the animal in early August, local authorities persuaded him to return it to the sea but he asked for VND20 million and a news cast on local television. The authorities refused and left the sea lion at his house.
Local authorities are investigating the death of the aquatic mammal, which was more than 20 kilograms and 90 centimeters long.
Sea lions are rarely seen in Vietnamese waters.
In May this year, a local fisherman in the central province of Ninh Thuan caught a seal which was later handed over to Nha Trang Oceanography Institute in neighboring Khanh Hoa Province.
The institute in September last year also received another seal caught in Thua Thien-Hue Province in the region.