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Cambodia Royal Turtle Near Extinction


FILE - Wildlife Conservation Society Field Veterinarian Martin Gilbert from Britain holds an extremely rare Cambodian 'royal' turtle at his house in Phnom Penh on July 21, 2005.

FILE - Wildlife Conservation Society Field Veterinarian Martin Gilbert from Britain holds an extremely rare Cambodian 'royal' turtle at his house in Phnom Penh on July 21, 2005.


The so-called royal turtles of Cambodia are close to disappearing forever.

The group Wildlife Conservation Society says fewer than 10 Cambodian royal turtles remain in the wild.

The society says sand removal and deforestation in Cambodia has led to habitat loss for the turtles.

The turtle is also known as the Southern River terrapin. It is one of the world’s 25 endangered freshwater turtles. The turtle is only located in the Sre Ambel river system in Cambodia.

The Cambodian Fishery Administration and the Wildlife Conservation Society have joined together to protect the turtles. But they have reported a decrease in the number of royal turtle nests.

Four nests were found in 2015. One was found this year.

The Royal Turtle was believed to be extinct. In 2000, scientists reported the discovery of a small group of the turtles. Their human protectors since have saved about 40 nests and more than 550 eggs. Over 300 eggs hatched successfully.

I’m Pete Musto.

The Associated Press reported this story. Jim Dresbach adapted it for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

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Words in This Story

royaladj. of or relating to a king or queen

habitatn. the place or type of place where a plant or animal naturally or normally lives or grows

nestn. a place where an animal lives and usually lays eggs or takes care of its young

extinctadj. no longer existing

hatch v. to come out of an egg; to be born by coming out of an egg

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