After turning down offers that hit as high as US$470, a conscientious man in Ha Tinh Province released a rare turtle back to the sea on Sunday.
Environmental officials in Nghi Xuan District and commune leaders watched as Nguyen Viet Luc returned the creature to the sea, news website Dan Tri reported.
Luc found the 10 kilogram turtle stuck in a sewer.
He brought the creature home drawing lots of curious visitors, who insisted it belonged to a rare species.
Many offered to pay Luc between VND4-10 million ($188-470) for the creature, but he turned them all down.
Luc reportedly notified the authorities before making the release.