Hanoi municipal authorities have approved solutions to wipe out invasive red-eared turtles in Hoan Kiem lake in order to protect the environment for the giant turtle linked to legendary Kim Quy the Turtle.

The move is considered as urgent, to prevent the risky spread of the invaders in the lake, especially when photos of the giant turtle with a red-eared turtle on its shell and new injures allegedly caused by the alien species were recently shown publicly.

The red-eared turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans), ranked as one of the most invasive species in the world, are alien species from the southern United States .

Provisional measures to catch and destroy existing red-eared turtles in Hoan Kiem lake are underwater cages, floats with bait and netting, along with ensuring an eco-friendly environment and preserving the scenery of the lake.

In addition, a study of optimum placement for traps and pilot catches in a test lake will be conducted.

Long-term solutions are development of an education and dissemination plan on the alien species’ negative impacts for Hoan Kiem lake’s environment and related documents to ban all activities relating to red-eared turtles’ trade, circulation, transport and breeding.

To curb the rise of the alien population, people are encouraged to not release the turtles and other alien species into the lake. All violations will be punished and egg-laying areas of the alien species may be destroyed.

Hanoi also decided to set up a co-ordinating group, including representatives from the services of science and technology, natural resources and environment, agriculture and rural development, the Hoan Kiem People’s Committee, Hoan Kiem Lake management board and other relevant units.
The giant turtle species, one of a handful of giant Red River soft-shelled turtles (Rafetus swinhoei or Rafetus leloi) left in the world, has been known since at least the third century BC when Kim Quy advised King An Duong Vuong on the best way to build defensive walls around Co Loa, the then capital, upstream from Hanoi .

Amid the horn-honking bustle of Vietnam 's capital, Hoan Kiem Lake is an oasis of relative calm. It attracts tourists and locals alike, the luckiest of whom occasionally catch a glimpse of "the turtle", the most famous resident of the capital.

Turtles are important in Vietnamese culture, particularly the Ho Guom (Hoan Kiem) turtle. It is so rare it is believed only four may be left in the world. Legend has it that after beating a Chinese invasion with a sacred sword found in Hoan Kiem Lake by a fisherman, King Le Loi handed it back to Kim Quy the turtle. In fact, in Vietnamese, the name of the lake means "Returning Sword."/.