November 8, 2005

Hoan Kiem Turtle Observed Basking

people looking
Hanoi People's Committee Chairman Nguyen Quoc Trieu (with binoculars) watches the Hoan Kiem Rafetus basking on Tower Island.

November 3 ? Hanoi: The Hoan Kiem Rafetus swinhoei made a rare appearance on the island when the sun first broke following several days of stormy weather in Hanoi.  Spotted by Asian Turtle Program Field Biologist Nguyen Xuan Thuan, crowds soon gathered by the lake to catch a glimpse of the gigantic turtle basking on the edge of Turtle Tower Island at the center of the lake. Amongst the crowd was Hanoi People?s Committee Chairman Nguyen Quoc Trieu and his deputies.

An unknown photographer sneaks onto Turtle Island to snap a few photos of the turtle. The luck photographer was not so lucky and was arrested shortly after by the police.






However, the famous turtle?s efforts to warm up in the November sunshine were cut short by an unknown photographer who sped out to the island rowing with his hands in a shallow draft boat to get some close-up photos of the basking giant.  Disturbed by the hovering young photographer, the Rafetus slid off the island back into the depths of Hoan Kiem Lake, and with the blessing of the mayor, police apprehended the culprit before he could reach shore.