A species of turtle is just a stone’s throw away from extinction after the death of a female in a zoo in eastern China, the day after an attempt at artificial insemination, reported Monday the Chinese media.
The Yangtze soft-shelled turtle has only three globally known specimens after Saturday’s death of a female at least 90 years old at the Suzhou City Zoo in the Shanghai area, according to the report. Daily from Suzhou.
The animal died while the zoo attempted a last-ditch operation the day before to save the species by attempting to inseminate it with the seed of a resident male turtle from the same zoo, which would be more than centenary.
The zoo tried for years to bring the couple to reproduce naturally. The female will be autopsied to determine the exact cause of her death, according to the newspaper.
In addition to the surviving male, there are now only two known representatives of the species living in freedom in Vietnam. The sex of these two reptiles not being known, if it is about two males, any hope of safeguarding the species will be annihilated.
The Yangtze soft-shelled turtle, the largest freshwater turtle, can grow up to one meter long and weigh up to 100 kilos.
The reptile, whose habitat extended to the Yangtze River, the longest river in Asia, and to other rivers in China, was the victim of hunting and also of pollution, river traffic and the spread of dams.
Tina Copp has lived in Connecticut her whole life. Tina has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade having contributed to several large publications including the Yahoo News and the Connecticut Post. As a journalist for Beatnick Report, Tina covers national and international developments.