A protected sea turtle has been rescued from a man who had bought it illegally in Quang Ninh Province and will be returned to nature, police said.
Traffic police officers seized the turtle weighing around 40 kilograms from a car last Friday. The driver said he had bought it that morning for VND15 million (US$670) from a man who advertised it on a local highway.
According to the police, the seller caught the turtle in his fish farm and wanted to sell it to someone who would keep it as a pet and not kill it for meat.
The police have consulted experts from Education for Nature-Vietnam to confirm the animal is a protected olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea).
The species is described as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with its population threatened by various factors like becoming fishing by-catch, commercial use of its eggs and coastal developments that damage its nesting beaches.