The World’s rarest turtle is one step closer to extinction after a female Yangtze giant softshell turtle died in Suzhou Zoo China, With now only Three of the sub-species believed to exist.
The world’s rarest turtle, the Yangtze giant Softshell turtle, has moved one step closer to extinction after a 90 year old female of the species passed away in the Suzhou Zoo, outside Shanghai, China.
It leaves behind just three known members of the species, a male already housed by the same zoo and two turtles in South Vietnam whose genders are unknown.
Although The zoo tried to get the female to reproduce naturally with the male, who was believed to be over 100 years old, their efforts were unsuccessful.
Talks of artificial insemination were proposed and was given the green light to go ahead.
A medical examination found the turtle to be in good health prior to the procedure, the People’s Daily said, and the artificial insemination appeared to go smoothly.
The zoo is now in the process to conduct an autopsy to try and determine the cause of death.
There are now only two other remaining species which live in Vietnam, but their genders are unknown.
The Yangtze giant softshell turtle is the largest freshwater turtle in the world. They can grow to 100 cm long and weighing up to 100kg.
But aquatic life in China’s rivers has suffered severely from centuries of hunting and, more recently, decades of pollution, shipping traffic and ecological disruption wrought by hydroelectric dams.