Mekong River, Cambodia, May 16, 2007—
One of the world's largest and most unusual species of turtle has been rediscovered by scientists working near Cambodia's Mekong River (see map of Cambodia
The Cantor's giant turtle, known for its soft shell and streamlined profile, had not been seen in the wild since 2003 and was thought to be nearly extinct until researchers found a mother's nesting ground in March.
The find was announced by the international nonprofits Conservation International and WWF.
"We thought it might be almost gone, but found it in abundance in this one pristine stretch of the Mekong, making the area the world's most important site for saving this particular species," said David Emmett, a Conservation International biologist, in a statement.
"This incredible discovery means that a unique turtle can be saved from disappearing from our planet."
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Photograph from Conservation International/AP Photo