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Ciénaga de Zapata
Freshwater turtles twice the average size (7-10 inches and around 13 pounds) of those aquatic animals are being studied in the Zapata Swamp in Cuba, the largest and best preserved marsh in the Caribbean.

According to the report of Cuban researchers Adrian Alvarez and Nibaldo Calvo, several giant specimens have been found in Zapata, 99 miles southeast of Havana on the southern coast of western Matanzas Province.

One of the examples was caught in the 90s, a female nearly 18 inches long and over 27 ½ pounds, who is now living happily in a crocodile nursery where she is one of the place's major attractions.

Another animal of super-large size is also a female more than 18 inches, weighing in at nearly 30 pounds, who walks freely in a tourist center known as "Fiesta Campesina."

The turtle, known scientifically as trachemys decussata decussata, is the only fresh water turtle inhabiting Cuban territory and has been over-hunted in the world in recent decades, both for food (its liver is supposed to be an aphrodisiac) and as a pet.

Source: Prensa Latina

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