Vietnam mourns death of sacred and rare giant turtle

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Vietnam Mourns Death Of Sacred And Rare Giant Turtle

The recent death of a beloved turtle has caused an entire country to mourn.

According to the New York Times, media outlets in Vietnam are reporting that the giant turtle known as Cu Rua, which translates to Great Grandfather despite being female, has died.

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The event happened about a week ago, and while it is unknown exactly how old the animal was, the cause is believed to be natural.

The death is particularly meaningful to the Vietnamese who believe she was the incarnation of a sacred figure from the 15th century.

The spiritual connection is significant, with one local noting, "People say the turtle's death is bad luck, and a way for the gods to show that something's about to happen."

Cu Rua was also only one of four known members of the Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtles species to still be alive on Earth.

The dwindling number of survivors is a concern for conservationists who have tried—but thus far failed—to propagate the species in order to prevent extinction.

The animal's remains will be embalmed and eventually displayed.

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