epa05112804 (FILE) A file picture dated 03 April 2011 shows conservation workers watching the turtle named Cu Rua swimming after it was captured at Hoan Kiem lake in Hanoi, Vietnam. The death of a popular turtle in Hanoi led to a national outpouring of sentiment on 20 January 2016. The turtle, known as 'Cu Rua,' or 'Great Grandfather,' had lived in Hanoi's Hoan Kiem Lake since the 19th century, and news of its death on 19 January inspired expressions of grief and the burning of incense. Cu Rua was around 120 years old, said Ha Dinh Duc, a biology professor who treated the giant turtle in recent years, although some believed Cu Rua was more than 700 years old.  EPA/STR *** Local Caption *** 02667701

Vietnam mourns death of sacred turtle and speculates on omens for ruling communists

The death of a venerated turtle in Vietnam has led to an outpouring of national grief – and has unnerved communist rulers gathering in Hanoi for a rare party congress.

So inauspicious was the timing of the giant reptile’s demise that state media removed initial coverage about the death, apparently under pressure from communist authorities.

  • Shebel

    The Vietnamese are good people and make wonderful immigrants.

    Are they Asian last this last bunch that are never happy?

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    They still ate the poor bugger.

    • Ouch!

    • Alain

      Why not? No need to waste.

    • luna

      Indeed, Cua Rua was held in such high esteem that officials may decide to honour the turtle in the same manner as the country’s famous and human independence hero Ho Chi Minh – by embalming it.

      The turtle would be preserved at the Vietnam National Museum, while the embalmed remains of Ho Chi Minh lie in state in a mausoleum that is a place of pilgrimage for Vietnamese.