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Because Vietnamese pond turtles are so rare, not much is known about how they live in the wild. Most knowledge of the behavior, diet, and reproduction of these animals comes from zoos. We do know that wild Vietnamese pond turtles dig themselves in at the base of bamboo shoots during dry periods to avoid dehydration. So, they essentially go into a kind of 'summer hibernation.' Unfortunately, this was also known to hunters. They would therefore jab sharp points into the ground along the bamboo shoots until they heard a sound that resembled a hit on a shell.

Mauremys annamensis

± 46 years


♀ maximum 28,5 centimeters

♂ maximum 23 centimeters


♀ maximum 2.100 grams

♂ maximum 1.750 grams

Food preferenceMainly meat, sometimes also plants
Pregnancy80 – 130 days
Age at adulthood5 – 7 years
Amount of offspring4 – 7 eggs
Note0 – 100 animals still live in the wild
Endangered level
Critically Endangered

The Vietnamese pond turtle used to frequent rice fields. Rice plants grow in water, where the turtles also find their prey. However, because the turtles trampled the rice plants, farmers saw the turtles as a threat to their harvest. Therefore, they decided to hunt the Vietnamese pond turtles. This hunting contributed to the drastic decrease in the number of Vietnamese pond turtles in the wild.

Another significant reason the Vietnamese pond turtle is severely endangered is the trade on Vietnamese markets. Turtle hunters caught the turtles in large numbers and took them to the market, where they fetched high prices. People bought them as pets or even because they believed the shell had medicinal powers. But in recent years, even those turtle hunters have been finding almost no Vietnamese pond turtles. They have been nearly all caught and removed from the wild.

The Vietnamese pond turtles have a heated terrarium in the Nature Conservation Center. It contains a shallow pool for swimming and a few rocks for basking. There are also heat lamps above the rocks. However, most of the Vietnamese pond turtles are kept behind the scenes. Diergaarde Blijdorp participates in the population management program to maintain a reserve population.