Beijing — The one identified feminine member of one of many world’s rarest turtle species has died at a zoo in southern China, officers mentioned Sunday. The animal was one in every of 4 Yangtze large softshell turtles identified to be remaining on this planet. The Suzhou zoo, the place the feminine turtle lived, additionally homes a male Yangtze large softshell turtle. The opposite two stay in Vietnam, however their genders are unknown.

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The turtle died Saturday afternoon, the Suzhou metropolis authorities mentioned in a press release, citing the zoo. It mentioned consultants have already used expertise to gather the turtle’s ovarian tissue for future analysis.

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The state-run Individuals’s Every day reported that the turtle was over 90 years previous and had undergone a fifth try at synthetic insemination shortly earlier than she died.

A medical examination discovered the turtle to be in good well being previous to the process, the Individuals’s Every day mentioned, and the bogus insemination appeared to go easily. However the turtle died the next day.

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Yangtze large softshell turtles originated in China, making their properties within the Yangtze River and Taihu Lake, in keeping with the Individuals’s Every day.

Suzhou authorities mentioned Chinese language and international consultants are investigating the reason for the turtle’s demise.

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A feminine Yangtze large softshell turtle, one in every of 4 remaining on this planet, is seen at Suzhou Zoo in China in a 2015 file picture.

Gerald Kuchling


Scientists introduced in 2015 that they might be attempting to artificially inseminate the feminine at Suzhou zoo, as a last-ditch effort to avoid wasting what’s sometimes called probably the most endangered turtle on this planet.

“It now seems that synthetic insemination is the one doable possibility for the pair,” mentioned Lu Shunqing, Wildlife Conservation Society China’s reptile program director, on the time. “The destiny of probably the most endangered softshell turtle of the world is now within the stability.”

Listed as critically endangered by the Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature, the Yangtze large softshell turtle is probably the most critically endangeredĀ turtleĀ on this planet. Its standing within the wild has lengthy been acknowledged as grim, however extinction threat now could be believed larger than ever. A lot of its demise has been attributed to over-harvesting and the degradation of its freshwater habitat in China.

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