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Cantor’s Giant Soft-shell Turtle Was Rediscovered in Kratie Province

Cantor’s Giant Soft-shell Turtle was thought to be extinct in the Cambodian Mekong until it was rediscovered in 2007. The new population was found in Kratie province. The hatchlings are gathered from natural nests along the river, then kept in indoors for 10 months before being released back into the wild. The community-led protection program is expected to increase hatchling survival rates.
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Hatchlings are gathered from natural nests along the nearby Mekong River, then kept in the protection center in Kratie on November 25, 2016. (Khan Sokummono/VOA)
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Hatchlings are gathered from natural nests along the nearby Mekong River, then kept in the protection center in Kratie on November 25, 2016. (Khan Sokummono/VOA)

A baby Giant Cantor Soft-shell Turtle (Pelochelys cantorii), 10-months old, is readied to be released back into the river after being kept at the Mekong Turtle Conservation Centre in Kratie province, on November 25, 2016. (Khan Sokummono/VOA)
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A baby Giant Cantor Soft-shell Turtle (Pelochelys cantorii), 10-months old, is readied to be released back into the river after being kept at the Mekong Turtle Conservation Centre in Kratie province, on November 25, 2016. (Khan Sokummono/VOA)

Hatchlings are gathered from natural nests along the nearby Mekong River, then kept in the protection center in Kratie on November 25, 2016. (Khan Sokummono/VOA)
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Hatchlings are gathered from natural nests along the nearby Mekong River, then kept in the protection center in Kratie on November 25, 2016. (Khan Sokummono/VOA)

A baby Giant Cantor Soft-shell Turtle (Pelochelys cantorii), 10-months old, is readied to be released back into the river after being kept at the Mekong Turtle Conservation Centre in Kratie province, on November 25, 2016. (Khan Sokummono/VOA)
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A baby Giant Cantor Soft-shell Turtle (Pelochelys cantorii), 10-months old, is readied to be released back into the river after being kept at the Mekong Turtle Conservation Centre in Kratie province, on November 25, 2016. (Khan Sokummono/VOA)

Mekong Turtle Conservation Center, located in the historic 100-pillar pagoda, Wat Sor Sor Muoy Roy, in Sambor district, north of Kratie. Building the center in a pagoda is expected to keep the species safe from harm. (Khan Sokummono/VOA)
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Mekong Turtle Conservation Center, located in the historic 100-pillar pagoda, Wat Sor Sor Muoy Roy, in Sambor district, north of Kratie. Building the center in a pagoda is expected to keep the species safe from harm. (Khan Sokummono/VOA)

Students of the voluntary youth club of the Mekong Turtle Conservation Centre release  baby soft-shell turtles back into the river on November 25, 2016. (Khan Sokummono/VOA)
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Students of the voluntary youth club of the Mekong Turtle Conservation Centre release  baby soft-shell turtles back into the river on November 25, 2016. (Khan Sokummono/VOA)

Students of the voluntary youth club of the Mekong Turtle Conservation Centre release  baby soft-shell turtles back into the river on November 25, 2016. (Khan Sokummono/VOA)
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Students of the voluntary youth club of the Mekong Turtle Conservation Centre release  baby soft-shell turtles back into the river on November 25, 2016. (Khan Sokummono/VOA)

Tea Soknay, 36, a farmer, has been a voluntary turtle ranger since 2012. She monitors the success of the project and turtle nests along the river, and keeps watch for illegal fishing and other predators. (Khan Sokummono/VOA)
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Tea Soknay, 36, a farmer, has been a voluntary turtle ranger since 2012. She monitors the success of the project and turtle nests along the river, and keeps watch for illegal fishing and other predators. (Khan Sokummono/VOA)

Tanks containing baby soft-shell turtles are seen at the protection center. The process is expected to increase hatchling survival rates. (Khan Sokummono/VOA)
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Tanks containing baby soft-shell turtles are seen at the protection center. The process is expected to increase hatchling survival rates. (Khan Sokummono/VOA)

Tanks containing baby soft-shell turtles are seen at the protection center. The process is expected to increase hatchling survival rates. (Khan Sokummono/VOA)
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Tanks containing baby soft-shell turtles are seen at the protection center. The process is expected to increase hatchling survival rates. (Khan Sokummono/VOA)

Hatchlings are gathered from natural nests along the nearby Mekong River, then kept in the protection center in Kratie on November 25, 2016. (Khan Sokummono/VOA)
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Hatchlings are gathered from natural nests along the nearby Mekong River, then kept in the protection center in Kratie on November 25, 2016. (Khan Sokummono/VOA)

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