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Endangered turtle released into wild

One of the most endangered turtles in the world was released into the wild in Cambodia this week, The Huffington Post reports.

Conservationists are celebrating the release of the Batagur affinis, commonly known as the Southern River terrapin, into the Sre Ambel River, the news source reports. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) the Cambodian Fisheries Administration and Wildlife Reserves Singapore announced the news after a releasing ceremony on the banks of the river.

The 75-pound female turtle, which was captured by local fishermen in April 2011, is one of about 200 adult turtles estimated to remain in the wild in Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia. The turtle was saved from a fate of being sold on the black food markets in China when the fishermen voluntarily turned it into WCS Cambodia, the organization reports.

The WCS has outfitted the turtle with a satellite tracing tag so that conservationists can continue tracking what has been called one of the 25 most endangered turtle species on the planet. Officials believe that the reptile species has an "excellent chance of recovery" in the coastal mangroves of southeastern Cambodia because they are some of the largest and most pristine in the region.
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