A photo of Trung Kien Mai, feet planted firmly on a turtle’s head, incited outrage when it surfaced on Facebook on July 9, according to newswire VietnamNet.
In recent years, students have taken to rushing to the temple, Vietnam’s first university, to jostle for a chance to touch the turtles heads.
They believe doing so, and buying calligraphy paper, can bring good luck ahead of university entrance exams, which this year concluded July 10.
To stop the superstitious practice, temple officials have erected a fence and mobilized volunteers to block visitors – not that this deterred Mai.
Critics say his behavior has tarnished Vietnam’s cultural and historical image.