GLOBAL ONE NEWS (G1) — A giant turtle in Vietnam that many attributed to the country’s symbol of independence and longevity has been embalmed three years after it died in January 2016.

The preserved reptile named Cu Rua meaning “great-grandfather turtle” is now displayed at a temple in Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi where it died.

Cu Rua’s plastination came years after its death shocked and horrified the nation. Many saw the turtle’s death as a sign of sinister that even the government censored the news to avoid panic amid an upcoming election back then.

More than a treasured animal partly because of its nearly a century-long life the 163kg (360 lbs) turtle had imparted cultural, spiritual and political influence in the country.

On the biological aspect, Cu Rua’s death is meanwhile seen as a threat to the Rafetus swinhoei species as there are only three of them left alive.