It was late last year when the owner of a popular restaurant in Kratie, a town in northern Cambodia, got a visit from local fishermen who had caught a live turtle in the Mekong River and were hoping to make a sale. The owner sometimes bought turtles, serving them to customers by special request. But the turtle the fishermen had brought this time was different. For starters, it was huge, weighing 37 pounds. Its broad head and eyes close to the tip of the snout resembled that of a frog. The owner, suspecting it was one of the endangered species he’d been told about, thought for a moment, then agreed to buy the turtle, for $75—not to cook it, but to save its life.
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