A big Asiatic softshell turtle weighing nearly 34kg was found by villagers in Sambour Meas commune's Ta Neng village of Kampong Cham province and town on August 19, according to the provincial Department of Information.

Known by its scientific name Amyda Cartilaginea and also referred to as black-rayed turtle, it is a species of softshell turtle in the Trionychidae family.

Uk Narin, head of the Fisheries Administration cantonment, said the freshwater turtle native to Southeast Asia is a highly endangered species.

He said that after receiving the turtle from villagers, he brought it to officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for a release into its safe habitat.